Senior IFAD officials to promote development in earthquake-stricken rural region of Ecuador

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Senior IFAD officials to promote development in earthquake-stricken rural region of Ecuador

Quito, 3 July 2017- A year after a major earthquake left more than 20,000 rural people homeless, officials of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will meet with ministers and other government officials to renew IFAD's commitment to supporting rural economic development and improvement of the lives of poor rural people. Périn Saint Ange, IFAD Associate Vice-President, arrives in Ecuador today with the message that alongside immediate disaster relief, long-term development is crucial to rebuilding lives.

The IFAD-supported Buen Vivir Rural Programme had been operating in the hard-hit Manabí region since 2013. When the earthquake struck, farmers connected to the project immediately organized to help the most affected families and to start the process of recovery. IFAD is not a relief agency, but focuses on long-term development so that poor rural people can increase not only their incomes but their resilience in the face of a variety of shocks.

Ecuador has made remarkable efforts in the last 10 years to decrease poverty and inequality through improved social spending and investments. Infrastructure, hospitals and schools have been substantially modernized. The Buen Vivir Rural Programme, run by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, promotes resilience of small farmers and has helped 25,000 food-insecure, poor rural household living in nine provinces.

While in the country, Saint Ange will meet with Fernando Soria, Vice Minister of Finance, to discuss IFAD´s support to rural development, including the “Toda una vida” plan and the “Minga Agropecuaria”. Saint Ange also will meet with Vanessa Cordero, Minister of Agriculture, Iván Espinel, Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion, and Andrés Mideros, National Secretary Planning and Development to further discuss ongoing and future investments in Ecuador.

"IFAD is committed to supporting the government of Ecuador in its effort to tackle rural poverty," Saint Ange said. "We look forward to continuing our work together to improve the lives of smallholder farmers, helping to break the cycle of poverty and inequality.”

“The project gives these farmers the tools and training they need to build a better lives for themselves and their community,” said Caroline Bidault, IFAD’s Country Programme Manager in Ecuador. “We aim to diversify the rural economy, generate employment and increase incomes."

During his visit, Saint Ange will travel to the Tungurahua province where he will meet with smallholder farmers and young people benefitting from the Buen Vivir programme. His purpose is to see first-hand how the project is transforming the livelihoods of rural communities.

Since 1978, IFAD has invested a total of US$130 million in 10 programmes and projects related to agricultural development in Ecuador, benefiting more than 271,767 households.

Press release No.: IFAD/38/2017

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$18.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 464 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.For more about IFAD, visit

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Salvador Santiesteban Merlos

Regional Communications Officer