Statement by Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD, International Day of Indigenous Peoples 2020
07 August 2020
This year, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples draws our attention to the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s 470 million Indigenous Peoples, 73 per cent of whom live in rural areas.
The COVID-19 Pandemic highlights the challenges faced by indigenous communities, such as increased marginalization and discrimination. Indigenous peoples’ inherent knowledge, their close interdependence with the environment and their respect for nature give us a direction to follow.
IFAD has gained enormous experience in partnering with Indigenous Peoples and is considered as a model in promoting self-driven development and engagement through projects that strengthen their culture, identity, knowledge, natural resources, intellectual property and human rights.
On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we stand firm in our commitment to continue, in partnership with Member States, to strengthen the contribution of Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, and to support and promote the resilience of Indigenous Peoples during the COVID-19 crisis.