IFAD Supports Agricultural Development Project in the Syrian Arab Republic

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IFAD Supports Agricultural Development Project in the Syrian Arab Republic

Press release number: IFAD 11/03

Rome, 20 February 2003 - A loan agreement was signed today at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) headquarters by H.E. Mr. Noureddine Al-Mouna, Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and by Mr. Lennart Båge, President of IFAD. The loan, in an amount of USD 17.5 million, will help fund the ‘Idleb Rural Development Project’, with a total cost of USD 46.1 million.

The project area is located in Idleb governorate, in the extreme northwest corner of the country; initially focus will be on two major upland areas: Jabel al Wastani and Jabel al Zawia. A two-level targeting approach will be adopted, the first priority group being about 290 000 people living in 106 villages; the second priority group will be the rest of the population 130 000 residing in 46 villages and other pockets of rural poverty.

Poverty in the area is due to a number of constraints such as rapid population and labour force growth rates, limited cropping due to rocky soil, small farm holding and low productivity, inefficient extension system and underdeveloped post-harvest processing and marketing facilities. However, given its high rainfall levels and varied topography, the area is suitable for the cultivation of a variety of field crops and fruit trees and for livestock raising.

The main objectives of the ‘Idleb Rural Development Project’ are to improve the food security and income levels of the target group of farmers and rural women by expanding the area of arable land, improving access to water, and introducing more efficient farming and water management practices. The project will finance a series of interventions for agricultural development, water resources development and management, community development and microfinance and coordination and management.

With this project, IFAD will have financed 6 projects in the Syrian Arab Republic, for a total loan amount of about USD 106 million.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations with the specific mandate of combating hunger and poverty in the most disadvantaged regions of the world. Since 1978 IFAD has financed 628 projects in 115 recipient countries and in the West Bank and Gaza for a total commitment of approximately USD 7.9 billion in loans and grants. Through these projects, about 250 million rural people have had a chance to move out of poverty. IFAD makes the greater part of its resources available to low-income countries on very favorable terms, with up to 40 years for repayment and including a grace period of up to ten years and a service charge of 0.75% per year.


IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations with the specific mandate of combating hunger and poverty in the most disadvantaged regions of the world. Since 1978 IFAD has financed 628 projects in 115 recipient countries and in the West Bank and Gaza for a total commitment of approximately USD 7.9 billion in loans and grants. Through these projects, about 250 million rural people have had a chance to move out of poverty. IFAD makes the greater part of its resources available to low-income countries on very favorable terms, with up to 40 years for repayment and including a grace period of up to ten years and a service charge of 0.75% per year.