Lafarge and the French Development Agency (AFD) have launched a partnership in microfinance for affordable housing. The 5 million euros contribution from AFD to the LAPO* microfinance bank, Lafarge's partner in Nigeria, will enable low-income families to finance the construction, expansion and renovation of their homes, improving their living conditions permanently. This project initiated by Lafarge helps meet local challenges of urbanization: Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa with over 170 million people in 2012 and the seventh most populated country in the world.
AFD and Lafarge signed a partnership to deploy the Microfinance Program for Affordable Housing in Africa, following the creation of this program by Lafarge in June 2012. By pooling their expertise and working with LAPO - the largest microfinance bank in Nigeria with 900,000 clients and 323 branches - Lafarge and AFD seek to offer replicable, sustainable and appropriate housing solutions adapted to the needs of local population.
AFD has over 70 years of experience in supporting the financing of projects that improve peoples' living conditions, including in Africa. AFD designs and implements financial products tailored to the needs and resources of households wishing to build or improve their homes. Through its local branches, it also enables the introduction of financing schemes and financial expertise assistance for microfinance institutions. In Nigeria, AFD enables LAPO to offer households an innovative housing financing solution, aligned with their needs and their level of indebtedness.
Meanwhile Lafarge reinforces its expertise in the area of affordable housing. The Group assists participants at various stages of their construction project. Assisted by qualified advisers, families will receive personalized support, such as an architect visit or the development of construction plans. Lafarge has set the objective to enable 2 million people access to affordable housing by 2020. Lafarge implements projects based on sustainable business models. Microfinance projects for affordable housing are already in place in Indonesia, Philippines and Zambia. Other projects are also being launched in Morocco, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
* Lift Above Poverty Organization
NOTES TO EDITORS
A world leader in building materials, Lafarge employs 65,000 people in 64 countries, and posted sales of €15.8 billion in 2012. As a top-ranking player in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses, it contributes to the construction of cities around the world, through its innovative solutions providing them with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful, and better connected. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities in order to contribute to more sustainable construction and to better serve architectural creativity. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark in recognition of its sustainable development actions.
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is a public development finance institution that has been working to fight poverty and foster economic growth in developing countries and the French Overseas Provinces for seventy years. It executes the policy defined by the French Government. AFD is present on four continents where it has an international network of seventy agencies and representation offices, including nine in the French Overseas Provinces and one in Brussels. It finances and supports projects that improve people's living conditions, promote economic growth and protect the planet, such as schooling for children, maternal health, support for farmers and small businesses, water supply, tropical forest preservation, and the fight against climate change.
In 2012, AFD approved €7 billion to finance activities in developing countries and the France's overseas provinces. The funds will help get 10 million children into primary school and 3 million into secondary school; they will also improve drinking water supply for 1.79 million people. Energy efficiency projects financed by AFD in 2012 will save nearly 3.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.