IFAD and Youcheng Foundation commit to rural revitalization in China


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IFAD and Youcheng Foundation commit to rural revitalization in China

Beijing, 9 June 2022 - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Youcheng Foundation for Poverty Alleviation signed a letter of intent today, outlining their collaboration and joint commitment to promote rural revitalization. Through this partnership, the two organisations intend to cooperate in researching, designing and implementing programmes and projects that increase rural women's economic empowerment, support rural youth entrepreneurship and improve the profitability of small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas. The aim is to enhance the impact of activities by joining resources and expertise to apply effective models and best practices in revitalizing rural areas.

During the signing ceremony, Tang Min, Counselor of the State Council and Vice Chairman of the Youcheng Foundation, said that rural revitalization is a major strategic component of China’s efforts in building a “moderately prosperous society in an all-round way” and a “modern socialist country”. With the success of eliminating extreme poverty in China IFAD and the Youcheng Foundation have shifted focus from poverty eradication to consolidating results in poverty alleviation and continuing to improve rural revitalization. IFAD and the Youcheng Foundation can apply their respective expertise to effectively carry out innovative cooperation and collectively improve the lives of vulnerable rural people in China.

Matteo Marchisio, IFAD Country Director, China said, “Gender equality and youth development are major priority areas for IFAD, and these are incorporated in all IFAD investment projects in China. Through cooperation with the Youcheng Foundation, IFAD-funded projects will benefit from better technical resources and networks. These elements, in combination with IFAD's support for industrialization, financing and market linkages, will help to empower rural women and youth and provide additional access to resources and overall support in the project areas.”

“We expect to see improved effectiveness and impact of projects, and new innovative models applied for effective rural revitalization,” he added.

As a pilot, IFAD and the Youcheng Foundation began working with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Yunnan and Hunan Provinces to carry out the "Women Up" rural women's economic empowerment project in Yongping County (Yunnan Province) and Fenghuang County (Hunan Province). For 100 rural mothers in these two counties, the project provided courses on entrepreneurial skills including: literacy; product development; live streaming online sales; as well as personal and family financial planning, - a total of 200 hours of offline training and online entrepreneurship coaching over the course of 6 months.

A student from Yongping, Yunnan Province, said: "Through this training, I learned how to do live stream marketing, and how to select and package goods. The training was very fulfilling and allowed me to discover a new version of myself. I also found a partner in the class to start a business, and together we sell our own beef and goose through e-commerce! ”

Based on the good results so far, IFAD and the Youcheng Foundation will continue to explore cooperation opportunities, improve household incomes, help farmers to enter the value chain with niche agricultural products, and support rural women and youth to start businesses. Through a comprehensive, sustainable and empowering approach, the partnership will stimulate new momentum for rural development and contribute to rural revitalization.

Since the implementation of the first IFAD-supported project in China in 1981, IFAD has supported 33 rural development projects in the country - worth US$3 billion. These interventions have directly benefitted more than 20 million people from more than 4.5 million rural households, most of them poor or disadvantaged.

Youcheng Entrepreneur Poverty Alleviation Foundation is a national foundation approved by the State Council, supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and guided daily by the National Rural Revitalization Bureau. Since its establishment in 2007, the Youcheng Foundation has actively participated in poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. Over the past 14 years, the Youcheng Foundation has applied its expertise and advantages to develop a range of projects such as the poverty alleviation volunteer action plan; industrial poverty alleviation; e-commerce poverty alleviation; education poverty alleviation; and designated poverty alleviation programmes.  

 Press release No.: IFAD/32/2022

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$ 23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 518 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

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