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In Brief

IFAD in the Near East and North Africa region
January 2007

IFAD’s work in the region is guided by the organization’s Strategic Framework, its four thematic priorities for the region and by individual country strategic opportunities papers (COSOPs), reflecting governments’ own priorities in rural development and prepared in consultation with governments, donors and other partners.

The thematic priorities encompass:

(i) a new focus on managing land and water resources for poverty reduction, including the key role of empowerment of community-based resource management groups;

(ii) achieving a breakthrough in rural microfinance by building partnerships with leading organizations in this area and collaborating with commercial banks and major regional financial institutions;

(iii) tackling rural unemployment by using the results of ongoing action research to identify effective, targeted interventions and; (iv) linking smallholder farmers and the rural poor with international markets by assisting NENA countries in developing export markets for non-traditional products and by working with existing private sector or NGO initiatives in this area.

IFAD’s experience in the region has shown that, with the right support, local people can sustainably manage the natural resources on which their livelihoods depend.