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Enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
IFAD has approved six loans to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for an approximate total of US$80.0 million. The organization also approved two technical assistance grants in 1991 and 1998 for the Regional Training Programme in Rural Development, implemented by the Foundation for Training and Applied Research in Agrarian Reform (CIARA), which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land. IFAD’s mandate to reduce poverty by improving the living conditions and incomes of poor rural people faces vigorous challenges and opportunities. IFAD works in partnership with the government and other donors, financing programmes and projects that target the poorest of the poor, particularly small farmers, landless people, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, and rural women in general. CIARA, one of IFAD’s principal partners in recent rural development projects, plays an important role as administrator of decentralized development programmes for the country's Ministry of Popular Power for Agriculture and Land.
Land grab or development opportunity? Agricultural investment and international land deals in Africa
Over the past 12 months, large-scale acquisitions of farmland in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia have made headlines in a flurry of media reports across the world. Lands that only a short time ago seemed of little outside interest are now being sought by international investors to the tune of hundreds of thousands of hectares. And while a failed attempt to lease 1.3 million ha in Madagascar has attracted much media attention, deals reported in the international press constitute the tip of the iceberg. This is rightly a hot issue because land is so central to identity, livelihoods and food security.
IFAD and rural water investments
IFAD is currently engaged in over 230 loan operations in 85 countries. About two thirds of that portfolio is related to community-based natural resource management. Poor rural people and their institutions are at the core of this approach. Water is critical to these men and women pastoralists, fishers, farmers, young and old, part- or full-time, urban or rural, indigenous, tribal or otherwise often marginalized people. It is the key entry point for improving their livelihoods.
Interventions for improving livelihoods
Climate change represents an additional challenge to rural people in SSA – and a further reason for investment in water control. Smallholder farmers, pastoralists and artisanal fishers are among the most vulnerable to this threat. While projections of changes in annual rainfall vary across Africa, these groups will experience the negative effects of increased temperature and extreme events. For them, enhanced control of water will become critical in building resilience to increased climate variability.
Guidance Notes for institutional analysis in rural development programmes: an overview
Guidance notes for institutional analysis in rural development programmes provides a synthesis of the training materials developed as part of the Institutional Analysis (IA) methodology. They propose that we rethink how we conceptualize and promote institutional change, particularly for pro-poor service delivery. They provide a framework and the analytical tools for designing programmes and projects that feature implementation modalities based on some of the core principles of good governance, focusing on “pro-poor governance” and systemic sustainability at the micro and meso levels.
Reinforcing gender equity
Women constitute two-thirds of the 1.2 billion poor people in the world. The great majority live in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, regions that are also home to most of the world’s ‘water poor’ – those with limited access to reliable, safe supplies of water for productive and domestic uses. The role women play in reducing food insecurity and poverty – through their knowledge of multiple uses of water, crop production, local biodiversity, soils and local water resources – is recognized internationally. However, despite this, they are often still excluded from decision-making processes in new water management approaches and other natural resource allocation projects and initiatives. Globalization, changing market dynamics and climate change are altering the rural context for most poor rural people, resulting in increased vulnerability to natural hazards and economic uncertainties, above all for women.
IFAD and the League of Arab States
Poverty poses a constant threat to economic growth, trade reform, private sector development, knowledge, governance and gender equality. Poverty among the 22 members of the League of Arab States (LAS) is primarily a rural phenomenon. A quarter of the region’s population, or about 80 million people, live below national poverty lines. Between 60 and 70 percent of these poor people live in rural areas. One of the most pressing challenges in the region is the high rate of unemployment, particularly among young people. Official unemployment rates average 13 per cent, and in some countries the jobless rate among young people is twice as high.
Annual report on investigative and anti-corruption activities 2008
The Investigation Section of the Office of Audit and Oversight (OA/IS) has a mandate to investigate alleged irregular practices, namely (i) fraud and corruption, in relation to entities, contractors and non-staff individuals applying for or participating in an IFAD-financed project or headquarters-related contract, and (ii) staff misconduct, pursuant to the adoption by the Executive Board in December 2005 of the IFAD Policy on Preventing Fraud and Corruption in its Activities and Operations (EB 2005/85/R.5/Rev.1, paragraph 26). Implementation of this policy, along with the establishment of a Sanctions Committee, have aligned IFAD with best practices applied by other United Nations agencies and the major multilateral development banks (MDBs) in this area. OA/IS was fully staffed in 2008, enabling it to pursue its dual role of conducting investigations and, more broadly, implementing the IFAD anticorruption agenda.
IFAD in the MERCOSUR area
Working to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty, IFAD operates in the MERCOSUR countries at two levels: • at the subregional level, within the institutional framework of MERCOSUR, it promotes a platform for dialogue between governments and smallholder farmers’ associations, with the aim of increasing public investment in family farming • at the national level, it provides funding and technical assistance to governments for the implementation of rural development programmes and projects that translate into action the agreements reached at subregional level.