IFAD leverages new coastal highway and port to increase small fisheries exports

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IFAD leverages new coastal highway and port to increase small fisheries exports

IFAD loan to support 116, 000 people in coastline districts

Rome, 31 January 2013 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will extend a loan of US$30 million to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to finance the Gwadar-Lasbela Livelihoods Support Project, which will take advantage of recent developments and infrastructure in the region to better connect small fishers to regional markets.

Tehmina Janjua, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Republic of Italy, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, signed the financing agreement at IFAD headquarters in Rome today.

Gwadar and Lasbela districts share three quarters of the Pakistani coastline, they are far from the capital city and not well connected to the rest of the country. Despite the potential for growth and development, the area needs improvement. The recent completion of a coastal highway linking the entire coastal belt to Karachi and the new Gwadar Deep-Sea Port have opened up enormous opportunities for expansion of regional and international trade, including the export of fishery products. The project will address challenges currently faced by the people in these two districts by improving weak infrastructure and access to markets and processing. Better harvesting and  transport facilities will be improved for the fishing communities.

"The project aims to increase the incomes and augment the livelihoods of these households by strategically linking them to new markets and opportunities", said Matteo Marchisio, IFAD's Country Programme Manager for Pakistan.

The project will mainly target poor rural households in 382 villages in Gwadar and Lasbela districts, including small-scale landowners, landless tenants, small-scale farmers and fishermen, and rural women. It is expected to benefit about 20,000 rural households.

With this new programme, the Fund will have financed 24 programmes and projects in Pakistan since 1978 for a total IFAD investment of $492 million, benefiting about 1.9 million households.

Press release No.: IFAD/01/2013

The 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 about US$14.8 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering over 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 169 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).