UN Agency IFAD becomes a voting member of the ICMA principles, providing investors with another reason to bank on rural development


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UN Agency IFAD becomes a voting member of the ICMA principles, providing investors with another reason to bank on rural development

Rome, 15 March 2023 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a UN specialized agency and an international financial institution, has become a voting member of the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) principles, enabling IFAD, as an environment, social and governance (ESG) bond issuer, to actively contribute to influencing and securing the highest international standards and transparency in issuing and managing ESG bonds.

In addition to complying with the Sustainability Bond guidelines and its four core components, IFAD had so far been an observing member of the ICMA Principles, gaining a solid understanding of the qualities that are essential for sound and transparent ESG debt instruments, and the in-depth impact reporting that is needed to avoid “green washing” in capital markets.

 “IFAD is committed as an ESG issuer to uphold the highest international standards and guidelines proposed by ICMA, seeking to become a solid and attractive investment option to contribute to rural and agricultural development,” said Natalia Toschi, Head of Funding at IFAD’s Treasury division.

IFAD will further engrain these principles and its core components in its own yearly funding program, reassuring investors that they will uphold ICMA standards and transparent impact reporting on its issuances on a portfolio-based approach.

In 2022, IFAD joined the ranks of ESG issuers with two private placements for a total amount of US$150 million. The bonds were issued under IFAD’s Sustainable Development Finance Framework (SDFF) that was launched earlier in 2021. The SDFF abides by ICMA’s four core components: Use of Proceeds, Process for Project Evaluation and Selection, Management of Proceeds and Reporting.

The SDFF also links IFAD’s work to the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by supporting 16 out of 17 SDGs.  As the leading global development organization dedicated exclusively to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas, IFAD plays a critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Note to editors

In 2020, IFAD was the first UN fund to receive a credit rating, with both Fitch and Standard and Poor’s announcing AA+ (stable) ratings. 

IFAD is able to demonstrate impact. In 2021, IFAD was rated the most effective multilateral development organization in the world.

IFAD launched its 13th replenishment on 16 February 2023, calling for increased investments in small-scale, rural farmers across developing countries. Small-scale farmers produce one third of the world’s food and up to 70% of the food produced in low- and middle-income countries. They are key to global food security, but also stability as hunger and poverty can fuel migration and conflict.

Donor support has been stagnant at 4 to 6 % of Official Development Assistance for at least two decades. Small-scale farmers also receive less than 2% of global climate finance.

For more information visit our IFAD 13 Microsite.

Press Release No.: IFAD/25/2023

IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency. Based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub – IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided more than US$24 billion in grants and low-interest loans to fund projects in developing countries.

A wide range of photographs and broadcast-quality video content of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from our Image Bank.