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Young Ho women, Phongsaly © CCL, Olivier Ducourtieux

PROPARCO PROPARCO is a subsidiary of AFD which specialises in private ­sector funding. It is a financial development institution whose aim is to finance business activities which are socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and financially profitable. Its involvement may be through medium to long-term loans at market rates, in euros, dollars or local currency, or through equity participation or guarantees.

In terms of portfolio size, Laos is one of the most significant countries in Asia for PROPARCO. PROPARCO has been authorised to operate in Laos since 1996. It has a wide mandate for its activities, which allows it to finance projects which have significant prospects for sustainable growth and which also combat poverty. As such, PROPARCO has invested in two important projects in the hydroelectricity sector: the financing of the Nam Theun II dam alongside AFD and other international institutional partners, and the financing of an extension to the Theun Hinboun dam, with AFD as a sub-participant.

Partnerships with NGOs Since 2009 AFD has been tasked with financing projects undertaken by civil society organisations. Over the past number of years AFD has supported projects through grant aid which are specifically focused on Laos, as well as those which operate at a regional level. Projects have been undertaken by NGOs in various sectors:   Agriculture and Rural Development AVSF – Agronomes et vétérinaires sans frontières, GRET – Groupe d’échanges et de recherche technologique, SFE – Service Fraternité Entraide, Agrisud International   Health MdM – Médecins du Monde, AOI – Aide Odontologique Internationale   Protection of individuals HI – Handicap International, ASF – Avocats sans Frontières These programmes have involved a total of €4.2M in funding for Laos through both national and multi-country projects.

AFD's involvement in Laos  

AFD was mandated to begin work in Laos in 1993 and opened its local office in 1994.