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IFAD and CAF commit to reducing poverty and hunger in rural Latin America

27 September 2015

On the heels of the adoption of the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN Summit, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and CAF - the development bank of Latin America - signed an agreement today to further strengthen their collaborative efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger in rural areas.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze and CAF President and CEO Enrique García. It outlines the future partnership between IFAD and CAF, including new mechanisms for project financing and sharing technical expertise in programs designed to raise productivity and living standards in rural Latin America.

“IFAD and CAF share a common vision on the transformation that can happen when investments address the needs of rural people,” Nwanze said at the signing ceremony. “It is partnerships such as these that will be essential if the world is to realize multiple key development goals that were adopted here in New York just a few days ago.”

The SDGs are the subject of discussion at the UN General Assembly in New York. The goals, which replace the UN's Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), cover 17 key areas of development such as poverty, hunger, health, education, and gender equality, among many others.

The MoU builds upon the compatibility of the two organizations and their long history of collaboration, which dates back to their first agreement signed in 1982. Since then, CAF has committed more than US$36 million in cofinancing to IFAD projects and programmes.

"We are pleased to join forces with IFAD. By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, we will support initiatives to develop opportunities that foster stronger social cohesion and provide a more direct access for the most disadvantaged sectors in society, through training and education efforts," García said.

The MoU brings together CAF’s know-how in infrastructure development with IFAD’s expertise in social and economic rural development. In addition, it capitalizes on the strong partnership both institutions have with the private sector, which focuses on building the capacity of small farmers to improve quality while connecting them to regional and international markets.

In the past, the organizations have worked closely together to expand income-generating initiatives that benefit, in particular, women and youth. In addition, they have helped rural communities gain better access to financial services by facilitating the development of self-organized microfinance organizations and enabling households to mobilize savings, obtain credit and manage risks more effectively.

CAF is a development bank created in 1970, made up by 19 countries - 17 of Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal- as well as 14 private banks in the region.

CAF promotes a sustainable development model through credit operations, non-reimbursable resources, and support in the technical and financial structuring of projects in the public and private sectors of Latin America.

Press release No.: IFAD/65/2015

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided nearly US$16.6 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 445 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN's food and agriculture hub.