US$16 million for an IFAD rural rehabilitation project in the Niger

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US$16 million for an IFAD rural rehabilitation project in the Niger

Press release No.: IFAD/01/09

Rome, 15 January 2009 - US$16 million to the Republic of the Niger from IFAD will help boost good local governance in the Maradi region and enable rural communities to be more actively involved in creating suitable pro-poor policies to improve their livelihoods and decrease hunger.

A loan of US$8 million, and a grant for the same figure, will finance the second phase of the Agricultural and Rural Rehabilitation and Development Initiative Project – Institutional Strengthening Component (ARRDI-ISC).

The financing agreement was signed today in Rome by Mireille Fatouma Ausseil, Ambassador to Italy from the Republic of the Niger, and Lennart Båge, President of IFAD.

ARRDI-ISC,that runs through to 2012, is co-financed with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank/International Development Association (IDA).

The project will help strengthen the ability of 56 rural communes to run local affairs competently - in line with the government's decentralisation process. It will establish local investment funds to finance collective investments, empowering communes and villages to respond to local priorities. Women and young people will be enabled to participate more fully in decisions that improve food security and quality of life for poor households.

The project will target poor and extremely poor communities, that are also vulnerable to environmental risk, and particularly those where no similar development projects are operating.
The project will also seek to reduce or reverse land degradation by promoting sustainable land management.

To date, IFAD has funded nine projects and programmes in the Niger for a total of approximately 111 million dollars.

IFAD was created 30 years ago to tackle rural poverty, a key consequence of the droughts and famines of the early 1970s. Since 1978, IFAD has invested more than US$10 .6  billion in low-interest loans and grants that have helped over approximately  350  million very poor rural women and men increase their incomes and provide for their families. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency. It is a global partnership of OECD, OPEC and other developing countries. Today, IFAD supports close to 250 programmes and projects in 87 developing countries and one territory.