IFAD to support Resource Management project in the Arab Republic of Egypt

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IFAD to support Resource Management project in the Arab Republic of Egypt

Press release number: IFAD 20/03

Rome, 20 March 2003 - A loan agreement was signed today at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) headquarters by H.E. Ambassador Helmy Bedeir, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Italy, and by Mr. Lennart Båge, President of IFAD. The loan, in an amount of USD 12.7 million, will help fund the ‘Second Matruh Resources Management Project’, with a total cost of USD 44.8 million.

The project area is located in Matruh Governorate, which is part of the North-West Coast region of Egypt; it is characterized by a very fragile resource base with low and erratic rainfall and recurrent drought. Traditionally, the Bedouin population managed the area’s natural resources that given the nomadic lifestyle was an ecologically balanced pastoral system. Increased pressure from people and livestock due to the sedentarization of the Bedouins has unbalanced the ecosystem and created a cycle of resource degradation and rural poverty that threatens bio-diversity and increases environmental hazards.13 000 households are expected to benefit directly from the project and 22 000 households will be eligible to benefit from extension services, improved technology and other community-oriented investments. Project activities will be targeted at both men and women, a number of specific activities such as carpet making, home gardening, oil making etc will focus exclusively on women.

Phase I of the project demonstrated that it is possible to increase agricultural opportunities by means of water harvesting and halting/reversing the accelerating resource degradation through participatory natural resource management initiatives. More time is needed however to consolidate and further develop the experiences and transform participation into self-reliance both to ensure sustainability and develop community institutions capable of managing their own resources. The overall objective of the project is to reduce poverty through setting clear criteria for the selection of beneficiaries with the involvement of Bedouin communities.

With this project, IFAD will have financed 9 projects in the Arab Republic of Egypt, for a total loan amount of USD 186 million.

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.