IFAD to Support Rural Development Programme in the Republic of Haiti

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IFAD to Support Rural Development Programme in the Republic of Haiti

Press release number: IFAD 32/01

Rome, Monday 17 June 2002 – A USD 28.1 million project in the Republic of Haiti – the ‘Productive Initiatives Support Programme in Rural Areas’ – will receive a USD 21.7 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). A loan agreement was signed today at the Fund’s Headquarters by HE Jean Walnard Dorneval, permanent representative of the Republic of Haïti and Mr. Lennart Båge, President of IFAD.

The beneficiaries of this programme will be small farmers, the landless and women and youth. Project activities will extend to their economic organizations, women’s groups and microfinance institutions. In a ten year period about 500,000 people directly or indirectly will benefit from this programme. Lack of access to essential public services, physical isolation and political and social exclusion make living conditions in rural areas particularly difficult. Additional poverty factors that have contributed are related to the physical, socio-economic, technological and institutional environment. Poverty has adverse repercussions on women in their domestic activities and their efforts for the survival of the family, they face severe discrimination in community management and public affairs.

The programme will contribute to poverty reduction through diversifying and increasing incomes on a sustainable basis, improving food security and leading to better and sustainable management of natural resources. Specifically the programme aims to strengthen local and national capacities for development planning and management with the participation of grass-roots organizations; support initiatives related to recapitalization of farms, intensifiction and diversification of agricultural production, sustainable management of natural resources, processing and marketing of produce, improvement of rural infrastructure, non-agricultural and service microenterprises; facilitate sustainable access to financial services by the targeted rural poor and in particular the most marginal groups.

A gender sensitive approach will be an integral part of decision-making related to programme activities. Participation of the most vulnerable groups of the rural poor in local development planning and management is the reason behind the programme. This will be done through participatory methodology which involves training of programme staff, private and public partners, involving them from the socio-economic diagnosis of their community, through the management of projects, to the elaboration of community development plans.

With the programme, IFAD will financed 6 projects in the Republic of Haiti, for a total loan amount of about USD 71,3 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 603 projects in 115 recipient countries and in the West Bank and Gaza for a total commitment of approximately USD 7.3 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.