IFAD Asset Request Portlet

Asset Publisher

UN Climate Summit

Location: New York

22 October 2014

Statement by IFAD President to the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit

Excellencies,
colleagues,
ladies and gentlemen,

As a United Nations agency and International Financial Institution dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas, the International Fund for Agricultural Development fully supports the Secretary General's efforts to accelerate global action on climate change.

IFAD believes passionately that agriculture needs to play a key role in this debate, and that smallholder farmers are an essential part of the solution.

It is a cruel irony that the people most affected by climate change are also the most vulnerable, with the least resources and the fewest assets to protect themselves.

IFAD would like to ensure that the voices of those people who live and work in the rural areas of developing countries, who make up more than three-quarters of the world's poorest people, form a part of this discussion.

These smallholder farmers are clearly on the frontlines of climate change. Yet one aspect that is often overlooked is that they are much more than victims: They are small businesses and excellent clients for climate finance investments.

If we invest more and better in rural people, we can empower them by providing access to weather information, institutional networks, finance, and adaptation technologies.

By unleashing the full potential of rural people, they can help us feed a growing planet while at the same time restoring degraded ecosystems and reducing agriculture's carbon footprint.

That is the thinking behind IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme, or ASAP, which we launched in 2012.

Through ASAP, we commit to investing climate finance in rural households and enable at least 8 million smallholder farmers to cope with the effects of climate change

ASAP is now the world's largest adaptation programme focused on smallholders. This is thanks to the generous support from eight bilateral donors that together have contributed US$ 350 million.

We are proud of our achievements, but we want to do more.

In the years ahead, we will focus on three key areas.

First, we want to continue making climate finance work for poor smallholder farmers in developing countries.

Building on the success of ASAP, we want to upscale our current commitment and increase the climate resilience of at least 15 million smallholder farmers. This requires the support from bilateral and multilateral donors, and progressive mobilisation of resources in the wake of our next replenishment.

Second, we want to keep building the capacity of agriculture ministries to appraise climate-related risks and make climate-smart planning and investment decisions.

And third, we have committed to an ambitious 10-point plan to mainstream climate change concerns into all of our investment activities by 2018.

To sum up, IFAD believes it can play a unique role in harnessing the full potential of smallholder farmers for effective climate action.

We look forward to learning more about the climate change commitments of other donors and partners at this Summit.

Thank you.

New York, 23 September 2014