Kenya to receive US$33 million loan from IFAD and EUR 12.8 million loan from Spanish Trust Fund

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Kenya to receive US$33 million loan from IFAD and EUR 12.8 million loan from Spanish Trust Fund

Environmental conservation in Upper Tana will improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers

Rome, 23 May 2012 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a loan of US$33 million to the Republic of Kenya to finance the Upper Tana Catchment Natural Resource Management Project. An additional loan amount of EUR 12.8 million from the Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Facility Trust Fund will also be provided to fund the same project.

This new project will help smallholder farmers in the area to reduce rural poverty through sustainable management of their natural resource base.

Josephine Wangari Gaita, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Italy and the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, today signed the financing agreement for the new project.

In Kenya, poverty and environmental degradation are inter-linked. Poor water management, soil erosion, declining soil fertility and land degradation are compounded by the impact of climate change, which has led to a decline in agricultural yields over past decades. In some parts of the country, the droughts in 2009 and 2011 generated food emergencies, while flooding in 2010 and recently in 2012 severely affected some parts of the country.

The new project will be a scaling up of the Mount Kenya East Pilot Project for Natural Resource Management supported by IFAD and the Global Environment Facility. It will help to promote environmental conservation as a means to ensure sustainable livelihoods for poor rural people in five selected river basins of the
Upper Tana river.

The project will cover about 17,420 square kilometres and include 24 river basins that drain into the Tana river with the aim to increase the food production and incomes of the poor rural families living in the area.

Co-financed by the government of Kenya, approximately 205,000 poor rural households will benefit from the project, which will have a particular focus on women.

Since 1979, with this new project, IFAD will have financed 16 programmes and projects in Kenya for a total investment of $247.5 million benefitting 4,200,097 rural households.

Note to editors

More information on Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Facility Trust

Press release No.: IFAD/35/2012

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested almost US$14 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering about 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 168 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)