Enabling poor rural people
to overcome poverty

ROME – International Women's Day (8 March) celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. This year, the UN theme for the day is “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.”

Nearly two months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Rome-based United Nations agencies - the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) - are organizing an event to celebrate International Women's Day and commemorate the three prominent leaders of Haiti’s nascent women’s movement - Anne Marie Coriolan, and Myriam Merlet and Magalie Marcelin - who lost their lives during the 12 January earthquake. 

The three agencies will speak about the global role played by women in the aftermath of disasters, and about their importance in the recovery and rebuilding of their countries.  A special testimonial on how Haitian women are responding in the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake will be given by Marie Flore Monval Bourgoin, who comes to Rome from the Productive Initiatives Support Programme in Rural Areas development project in Haiti.  

The event will be held on Monday, March 8, 2010 from 11:30am-1pm at WFP headquarters (Auditorium) in Rome, Italy.

Speakers include: Josette Sheeran, WFP Executive Director, Jessie Rose Mabutas, IFAD, Chief Finance and Administration Officer, FAO Assistant Director-General Annika Söder, Nancy Exilas, Head of WFP’s sub-office in Port-au-Prince, Richard Trenchard, FAO Assessments Co-ordinator for Haiti, Marie Flore Monval Bourgoin, Responsible for Gender and Capacity-building, Productive Initiatives Support Programme in Rural Areas, Haiti (IFAD/PAIP), and Geri Benoit, Haiti Ambassador to Italy.

This event will be open to media. To facilitate accreditation and request interviews in advance, journalists should register by no later than 4pm on Friday, March 5 by sending their name, contact information, national ID/passport details, and the organization they represent to: Barbara.bellogini@wfp.org/ Fax: +39-651-32840.

On the day of the event, journalists should arrive at the main entrance to WFP from 10 am onwards, with final access time at 11 am.    

World Food Programme Headquarters
Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68/70
Parco de’Medici
00148 – Rome- Italy

he International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$11 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries, empowering some 350 million people to break out of poverty. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 165 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

IFAD provides grant of US$5.66 million for smallholder farmers in Haiti