A growing number of the world’s poorest countries are first to step up support to IFAD in fight to reduce hunger and poverty

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A growing number of the world’s poorest countries are first to step up support to IFAD in fight to reduce hunger and poverty

©IFAD/Imam Ibrahim Albumey

Rome, 19 June 2023 - As world leaders prepare for the New Global Financing Pact Summit in Paris this week, some of the world’s poorest countries are stepping up their support to the United Nations' International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) - an indication of the serious impact that climate catastrophes, inflation and persistent hunger have and the long-term benefits of agricultural development in building resilient rural economies.

This year IFAD is undertaking the 13th replenishment of its core resources (IFAD13), a process whereby representatives of its 177 member states define strategic priorities and commit funds to the organization for its work in 2025-2027. Noting the strong support generated by early pledges, IFAD President, Alvaro Lario, urged all member states to be ambitious in their financial commitment to improve the lives of small-scale farmers and poor rural communities.

“IFAD member states have committed to eliminating poverty and hunger by 2030 and transforming food systems. To succeed in such challenging times, the status quo is simply not good enough. There is no escaping the fact that higher funding for agriculture and food systems is needed,” said Alvaro Lario, President of IFAD, during the second consultation with its members states today.

Early pledges have already been received from a number of low- and lower-middle income countries: Cambodia (US$1 million); Côte d’Ivoire (US$1 million); Democratic Republic of the Congo (US$0.5 million); Niger (US$0.164 million - approximately); South Sudan (US$0.1 million). Though mostly recipients of concessional loans from IFAD, many developing countries also contribute to the Fund, as a demonstration of their support for the Fund and to encourage others to do the same.

"We encourage other countries to step up and contribute to IFAD13, as the gains countries will receive will far outweigh what they contribute,” Josephine Joseph Lagu, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, South Sudan.

IFAD is the only United Nations development organization and international financial institution exclusively focused on transforming rural economies and food systems to make them more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable.

During today’s meeting, Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, expressed the sentiments of many when she said, “Let us rally behind IFAD's 13th Replenishment and recognize the urgency of supporting its mission.”

She added, “IFAD’s impact is undeniable.”

Small-scale food producers grow one-third of the world’s food, and up to 70 per cent of food consumed in some low- and middle-countries. Paradoxically, they are the hardest hit by hunger, poverty, conflict, and climate change. Small-scale farmers only earn US$0.06 per US$1 worth of food they produced.  Eighty percent of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas.

Lario reminded member states during the two-day session that, “there is clear evidence that investing in agriculture and rural development is one the most effective ways to combat hunger, poverty, fragility, migration, and the loss of precious ecosystems and biodiversity,” and that “while we acknowledge that we are not perfect, and constantly strive to improve, I am proud to say that IFAD is one of the most highly-rated development organizations globally. We offer a unique value proposition that no other international development organization can match. IFAD provides extensive reach, outstanding results, an exceptional return on investment, all packaged in a clear, highly-focused approach.”

IFAD’s commitment and relevance to global food security was recently recognized in the G7’s Hiroshima Action Statement.

Ahead of the session, Germany and other traditional IFAD donors expressed their commitment to IFAD’s work. "It is imperative for all of us to provide sufficient funding for IFAD. This is in our own interest. By enhancing the capacity of smallholder’s agriculture, we encourage IFAD to link its efforts with, first, the climate change issue, adapting to climate change and building up a climate-resilient agriculture; second, to bring women at the centre of our endeavour. Whenever women are empowered within supply chains and food systems, those are more resilient," said Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Manuel Nogales, Executive Director of Acodea, a Spanish agri-agency for international development cooperation and long-term IFAD partner, said: “The world needs to increase food production to fulfil the growing demand, and it needs to do so through inclusive and sustainable food systems. IFAD helps countries feed their people, while boosting the economic and social development of their rural areas in a sustainable way.” 

Today’s consultation will be followed by another session in November and final pledging meeting with member states in December.

Note to editors:

More information about IFAD’s replenishment campaign on the IFAD13 microsite

Press Release No.: IFAD/50/2023

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 of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from its Image Bank.