Rural poor people in Chad to benefit from IFAD-backed development project

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Rural poor people in Chad to benefit from IFAD-backed development project

Press release number: IFAD 26/03

Rome – 15 May 2003. Water for farming in the ouadis of Chad will soon become a reality, with approval of a USD14.3 million rural development project for the Kanem region. An ouadis is a type of populated oasis where farmers plant their crops.

The project will be financed largely by a USD 13.0 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the Republic of Chad. Signing the loan agreement today at IFAD headquarters is H.E. Mr. Djimrangar Dadnadji, Minister of Planning, Development and Cooperation for the Republic of Chad and the IFAD President, Mr. Lennart Båge.

Almost the entire rural population of this poorest region of Chad will benefit from the eight-year project, which will address the needs of poor farmers and especially women, by providing access to credit.

This Sahelian region comprises the departments of Kanem and Bahr-El-Ghzal. Farming in dry areas is the mainstay for the region’s rural poor. The project will test water uptake systems in order to develop small-scale irrigation for crops in the ouadis and thus increase agricultural productivity.

Poverty in the region is mainly due to lack of wage-earning opportunities, low agricultural productivity, sand dune encroachment, lack of access to financial services and limited rural infrastructure, such as roads. The Kanem Rural Development Project will address these problems not only by improving access to water, but also by developing microfinance services that will give particular attention to the income generating activities of women, which include raising small animals and setting up and managing seed banks.

With this project, IFAD will have financed four projects in Chad, totaling USD 41.3 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 633 projects in 115 countries and in the West Bank and Gaza for a total commitment of approximately USD 7.7 billion in loans and grants. Through these projects, about 250 million rural people have been supported in their efforts to overcome poverty.