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How to do note: Youth access to rural finance

May 2015
IFAD’s mission is to invest in rural people, with the objective of overcoming poverty. Young people have increasingly become a priority target for IFAD as part of the agency’s fight against rural poverty (IFAD, 2014a).

ASAP Lesotho factsheet

May 2015
Lesotho ranks 158 out of 186 in the UNDP Human Development Index. Poverty is rife, and it is concentrated in the rural areas of the country, with the greatest incidence in the mountain areas. Lesotho's rural economy is dominated by livestock production. Lesotho's chief export is directly related to this livestock, that of wool and mohair production. Lesotho is the second largest global producer of mohair, and this counts towards a large percentage of the country 's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Only high quality wool and mohair can be exported, and this is dependent on the quality and health of the livestock. The main factor in raising high quality livestock is maintaining healthy rangelands.

ASAP Chad factsheet

May 2015
Climate change is exacerbating natural resource degradation and reducing the potential of productive lands. For example, rural farmers have to contend with climate shocks such as drought, rainfall deficits, floods and locust invasions. These shocks are reducing yields and making the cropping seasons hard to predict for traditional farmers. Traditional resilience strategies are no longer as effective as they were and the lean season is becoming more challenging to smallholder farmers.

Scaling up note: Agricultural water management

May 2015
Water is of fundamental importance to human development, the environment and the economy. Access to water and water security is paramount to improving food security, incomes and livelihoods of rural communities. Reliable access to water remains a major constraint for millions of poor farmers, mostly those in rainfed areas, but also those involved in irrigated agriculture. Climate change and the resulting changing rainfall patterns pose a threat to many more farmers, who risk losing water security and slipping back into the poverty trap.The need, therefore, to strengthen the communities’ capacity to adopt and disseminate agricultural water management technologies cannot be overemphasized.

Investing in rural people in Cuba

April 2015
IFAD recently resumed operations in Cuba after more than 20 years. The official launch of the Cooperative Rural Development Project in the Oriental Region (PRODECOR) took place on 30 October 2014. Given the challenges the agricultural sector faces, IFAD is in a position to serve as one of the country’s strategic partners, contributing to the ongoing modernization process. Cooperatives in Cuba are key actors in ensuring food security, as they represent 80 per cent of the country’s agricultural production. The Government of Cuba has expressed interest in re-establishing the partnership with IFAD with a view to modernizing agriculture. This will be achieved mainly through developing non-state smallholder farmer business cooperatives. In this respect, IFAD is well placed to provide technical assistance through its projects to increase the physical, human, social and environmental assets of cooperatives.

Remittances and mobile banking: The potential to leapfrog traditional challenges

April 2015
With mobile phone coverage generally surpassing 90 per cent of the population, even in developing countries, the potential to leapfrog to mobile banking holds the promise of addressing many of the challenges currently faced by rural remittance recipients.

Viewpoint 5: The human face of development: Investing in people

April 2015
When we look at the world today, we see impressive gains as well as daunting challenges. The Millennium Development Goal target of halving extreme poverty rates was met at the global level five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. There are now more than 100 middle-income countries, as diverse as Brazil, Lesotho and Vanuatu. It is estimated that developing countries’ share of the global middle-class population will rise from 55 per cent today to 78 per cent by 2025. However, amid rising affluence in some countries and regions, there is also growing inequality. In 2015, there will still be 970 million people living in poverty – the vast majority of them in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. And there remain 842 million chronically undernourished people in the world. Volatile commodity prices bring hunger to the poorest, and instability to markets and societies. Climate change and environmental degradation throw long shadows over all of humanity’s gains. Against this background, we must confront the question of how humankind is going to continue to feed and sustain itself in the future.

Private-Sector Strategy: Deepening IFADs engagement with the private sector

April 2015
This new IFAD strategy responds to these global developments and calls for IFAD to be more systematic and proactive in engaging with the private sector. The new strategy specifies how IFAD intends to deepen its engagement with the private sector (be it small, medium, or large; domestic, regional, or international companies) with the aim of creating markets for its target groups; improving their access to inputs, services, knowledge and technology; and increasing income-generating or job-creating opportunities for its target populations.

Why IFAD?

April 2015
This coming year could determine not only whether the world rises to the considerable challenges now facing it—climate change, persistent hunger, increasing inequality, stubborn poverty—but also affecting the fate of generations to come. With a growing population that will exceed 9 billion by 2050, the increasing effects of climate change, a widening gap between rich and poor, and growing competition for resources, the major issues facing humanity cannot wait. Deliberation must give way to deliberate action. But the global political will to eradicate extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition within a generation, and the conviction that this is achievable, are growing. An ambitious agenda is emerging in the process of identifying post-2015 development goals. It aims to end poverty everywhere in all its forms, and to end hunger and achieve food security. And it plans to do so sustainably. This would perhaps be one of the greatest steps ever taken to secure the future of humanity and the life of the planet.

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