International Fund for Agricultural Development

International Fund for Agricultural Development

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, yet only 4% of official development assistance goes to agriculture.

It's strategic policy is detailed in [ Strategic Framework for IFAD 2007-2010] : Enabling the Rural Poor to Overcome Poverty. Its headquarters is in Rome


IFAD's goal is to empower [ poor rural women and men] in developing countries to achieve higher incomes and improved food security.


IFAD will ensure that poor rural people have better access to, and the skills and organization they need to take advantage of:

  • Natural resources, especially secure access to land and water, and improved natural resource management and conservation practices
  • Improved agricultural technologies and effective production services
  • A broad range of financial services
  • Transparent and competitive markets for agricultural inputs and produce
  • Opportunities for rural off-farm employment and enterprise development
  • Local and national policy and programming processes

All of IFAD's decisions - on [ regional] , [ country] and [ thematic strategies] , poverty reduction strategies, [ policy dialogue] and development partners - are made with these [ principles] and objectives in mind. As reflected in the strategic framework, IFAD is committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the target to halve the proportion of hungry and extremely poor people by 2015.

Underlying these objectives is IFAD’s belief that rural poor people must be empowered to lead their own development if poverty is to be eradicated. Poor people must be able to develop and strengthen their own organizations, so they can advance their own interests and dismantle the obstacles that prevent many of them from creating better lives for themselves. They must be able to have a say in the decisions and policies that affect their lives, and they need to strengthen their bargaining power in the marketplace.

Working in partnership to eradicate rural poverty

Through loans and grants, IFAD works with governments to develop and finance [ programmes and projects] that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves.

Since starting operations in 1978, IFAD has invested more than US$10 billion in 770 projects and programmes that have reached more than 300 million poor rural people.

But this represents only part of the total investment in IFAD projects and programmes. In the past 30 years, a further US$16.8 billion in cofinancing has been contributed by partners.

Governments and other financing sources in recipient countries, including project participants, contributed US$9.3 billion, and multilateral, bilateral and other donors provided approximately another US$7.5 billion in cofinancing. This represents a total investment of about US$26.8 billion, and means that for every dollar IFAD invested, it was able to mobilize almost two dollars in additional resources.

IFAD tackles poverty not only as a lender, but also as an [http:// advocate for rural poor people] . Its multilateral base provides a natural global platform to discuss important policy issues that influence the lives of rural poor people, as well as to draw attention to the centrality of rural development to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.


[ Membership] in IFAD is open to any State that is a member of the United Nations or its specialized agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency. The [ Governing Council] is IFAD’s highest decision-making authority, with the 164 Member States each represented by a governor and alternate governor. The Council meets annually. The [ Executive Board] , responsible for overseeing the general operations of IFAD and approving loans and grants, is composed of 18 members and 18 alternate members. The [ President] , who serves for a four-year term (renewable once), is IFAD’s chief executive officer and chair of the Executive Board. The current President of IFAD is Lennart Båge, who was re-elected for his second four-year term in 2005.

oaring food prices and the rural poor

The prices of basic food commodities have increased rapidly over the past three years. In only the first quarter of 2008, wheat and maize prices increased by 130 percent and 30 percent respectively over 2007 figures. Rice prices, while rising moderately in 2006 and more so in 2007, rose 10 percent in February 2008 and a further 10 percent in March 2008. The threat to food security in developing countries increases in stride. Coordinated action by the international community, and by the United Nations in particular, is essential.

IFAD’s immediate response has been to make available up to [ US$200 million] from existing loans and grants to provide an urgent boost to agricultural production in the developing world, in the face of [ high food prices] and low food stocks. But IFAD will also continue to press for rapid and urgent longer-term investment in agriculture, including access to land, water, technology, financial services and markets, to enable the 450 million smallholder farms in developing countries to grow more food, more productively, and thereby increase their incomes and resilience, and respond to the increasing global demand for food.

Rural poverty country profiles

* [ Rural poverty in Albania]
* [ Rural poverty in Angola]
* [ Rural poverty in Argentina]
* [ Rural poverty in Armenia]
* [ Rural poverty in Azerbaijan]
* [ Rural poverty in Bangladesh]
* [ Rural poverty in Benin]
* [ Rural poverty in Bhutan]
* [ Rural poverty in Bolivia]
* [ Rural poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina]
* [ Rural poverty in Brazil]
* [ Rural poverty in Burkina Faso]
* [ Rural poverty in Burundi]
* [ Rural poverty in Cambodia]
* [ Rural poverty in Cameroon]
* [ Rural poverty in Cape Verde]
* [ Rural poverty in Chad]
* [ Rural poverty in China]
* [ Rural poverty in Comoros]
* [ Rural poverty in Congo]
* [ Rural poverty in Ecuador]
* [ Rural poverty in Egypt]
* [ Rural poverty in El Salvador]
* [ Rural poverty in Eritrea]
* [ Rural poverty in Ethiopia]
* [ Rural poverty in Gambia]
* [ Rural poverty in Gaza and the West Bank]
* [ Rural poverty in Georgia]
* [ Rural poverty in Ghana]
* [ Rural poverty in Grenada]
* [ Rural poverty in Guatemala]
* [ Rural poverty in Guinea]
* [ Rural poverty in Honduras]
* [ Rural poverty in India]
* [ Rural poverty in Indonesia]
* [ Rural poverty in Jordan]
* [ Rural poverty in Kenya]
* [ Rural poverty in Kyrgyzstan]
* [ Rural poverty in Lao People's Democratic Republic]
* [ Rural poverty in Lesotho]
* [ Rural poverty in Madagascar]
* [ Rural poverty in Malawi]
* [ Rural poverty in Mali]
* [ Rural poverty in Mauritius]
* [ Rural poverty in Mexico]
* [ Rural poverty in Moldova]
* [ Rural poverty in Mongolia]
* [ Rural poverty in Morocco]
* [ Rural poverty in Mozambique]
* [ Rural poverty in Nepal]
* [ Rural poverty in Nicaragua]
* [ Rural poverty in Niger]
* [ Rural poverty in Nigeria]
* [ Rural poverty in Pakistan]
* [ Rural poverty in Peru]
* [ Rural poverty in the Philippines]
* [ Rural poverty in the Republic of Macedonia]
* [ Rural poverty in Romania]
* [ Rural poverty in Rwanda]
* [ Rural poverty in Senegal]
* [ Rural poverty in Somalia]
* [ Rural poverty in Sri Lanka]
* [ Rural poverty in the Sudan]
* [ Rural poverty in Syria]
* [ Rural poverty in Swaziland]
* [ Rural poverty in Tanzania, United Republic of]
* [ Rural poverty in Tonga]
* [ Rural poverty in Tunisia]
* [ Rural poverty in Turkey]
* [ Rural poverty in Uganda]
* [ Rural poverty in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela]
* [ Rural poverty in Viet Nam]
* [ Rural poverty in Yemen]
* [ Rural poverty in Zambia]

ee also

*Food security

External links

* [ IFAD website]
* [ Rural Poverty Portal] powered by IFAD

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