IFAD to support agricultural development in Senegal to enable rural people to overcome poverty

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IFAD to support agricultural development in Senegal to enable rural people to overcome poverty

Press release number: IFAD 22/03

Rome, 17 April 2003 - A loan agreement was signed today at the headquarters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) by H.E. Momar Gueye, Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal to Italy, and Mr. Cyril Enweze, Vice-President of IFAD. The loan, for USD 12.5 million will help fund phase two of the Agricultural Development Project in Matam, which has a total cost of USD 24.3 million.

The project will help the rural inhabitants of about 26 village communities in the Walo area and about 50 herder communities in the Ferlo area to take steps to overcome poverty. About 150 000 people in about 20 000 rural households are expected to benefit.

In this area of Senegal, households headed by women are particularly vulnerable to poverty. The weak resource base in these areas limits opportunities to improve productivity and incomes. Illiteracy also limits the capacity of the poor to obtain and use technical and managerial know-how and to access markets and financial services.

The project will use a three-pronged strategy. First it will build on phase one achievements to further develop the organizational and managerial capabilities of producer and other beneficiary organizations. Capacity development will include intensive literacy, technical and managerial training. Women and youth will be provided opportunities for increased participation in community decisions and activities. They will also benefit from information, education and communication programmes and support to promote their income-generating activities. Second, the project will further develop the agricultural potential of the areas in a financially and environmentally sustainable manner. Third, the project will consolidate and help expand the network of microfinance institutions providing service to the rural poor.

With this project, IFAD will have financed 11 projects in Senegal totaling USD 115 million.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to combating rural poverty in the most disadvantaged regions of the world. Since 1978 IFAD has financed 628 projects in 115 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 been supported in their efforts to overcome poverty.