IFAD launches A New Day film, highlighting transformative power of investments in small-scale farmers who feed the world, ahead of Global Financing Pact talks in Paris

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IFAD launches A New Day film, highlighting transformative power of investments in small-scale farmers who feed the world, ahead of Global Financing Pact talks in Paris

Rome, 12 June 2023 – As world leaders gather in Paris 22-23 June to begin laying the foundation for a new global financial architecture sensitive to the needs of developing countries, particularly those facing multiple climate and economic crises, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launches a campaign to scale up investments in small-scale farmers with the short film – A New Day.

At the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, world leaders from government, financial institutions, the private sector and civil society will decide on ways to reshape the international financial system and urgently channel more resources to the poorest countries to invest in sustainable development, and better protect the environment and populations from climate change.

 “Investments in rural areas and agriculture can lift millions of small-scale farming families out of hunger and poverty. It is crucial that global leaders who will set a vision on how to reform our global financial system in Paris, are aware of the power of investments in rural populations and ensure that developing countries can access the financing they need to spur their development and adapt to climate change. A new day is possible,” said Hélène Papper, Director, Global Communications and Advocacy, IFAD.

The short film was made by award-winning filmmaker, Jonathan Pearson, and London-based, production company UNIT9. The spot was shot last summer in Tunisia during record-high temperatures. It features rural people and farming communities in one of the world’s harshest and most fragile desert environments, hard hit by droughts, who are able to grow more food and adapt to climate change challenges thanks to an IFAD-supported project.

“The idea was not to lecture or paint a bleak picture of the challenges that these communities face, but rather strike a celebratory and energetic tone that shows these people thriving and adapting. The film aims to showcase the vital work that IFAD is doing, along with putting the farmers front and centre as heroes, to ensure that they continue to be supported though these challenging times,” said Pearson.

Nina Simone's iconic song Feeling Good was donated to the project and serves as the soundtrack. The song is about freedom from oppression and it reminds viewers that solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges do exist—and that rural people who live dignified lives, are driving their own development and can further prosper with our support. Model and activist Sabrina Dhowre Elba narrates the piece. Both Sabrina and Idris Elba are UN Goodwill Ambassadors for IFAD.

“It is vital to shed a light for people who are suffering the effects of climate change now but to also show that we can learn from these farmers – as climate change and food insecurity impacts us all,” said Sabrina Elba. “We need to call on our leaders to invest more in organizations like IFAD and development that provides long-term solutions and brings change.”

Eighty percent of the world poorest people live in rural areas. Small-scale farmers who produce up to 70% of the food in low and middle-income countries are often the first ones to suffer from hunger and poverty. Investments to boost production, build resilience to climate change and provide access to knowledge, markets and technologies can lift them out of poverty and hunger. Investing in agriculture is two to three times more effective at reducing poverty than investment in any other sector.

The quantity of Official Development Aid (ODA) directed at agriculture has been stagnant at 4 to 6% of ODA for at least two decades. Small-scale farmers receive less than 2% of global climate finance, globally.

Notes to editors:

Find out more about IFAD’s 13th replenishment (IFAD13), calling for increased investments in small-scale, rural farmers across developing countries and help us to spread the word about the IFAD13 campaign.

Press Release No.: IFAD/56/2023

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 and broadcast-quality video content of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from our Image Bank.