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Statement by, Dr. Peter Failer, Director-General International Development Policy Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany, to IFADs Fortieth Session of the Governing Council

07 February 2020

This annual meeting of the Governing Council is taking place at an important moment for the future of IFAD – right before the beginning of the new round of replenishment negotiations.


IFAD's core mandate focuses on areas that are also top priorities for German development cooperation – food security and rural development. IFAD is the only United Nations specialized agency whose core mandate is about improving the lives of small rural farmers and their families. Germany supports IFAD's multi­sectoral approach to rural development.


Let me point out that IFAD has played and will continue to play a vital role in addres­sing the root causes of migration. There is no doubt that poverty and food in­security are the most important push factors. At the same time, there is also no doubt that poverty and food insecurity cannot be wiped out if climate change remains unaddressed. The consequences of ongoing climate change may wipe out much of the progress we have made on poverty reduction.


Having this said, I would like to note that IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agri­culture Programme (ASAP) is the world's largest global climate change adapta­tion program for smallholders. Germany regards ASAP as a strategic partner. This is why we decided to support ASAP with 13 million euros in the coming years.  


Finally, I would like to mention that the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, recently announced that we would engage in a Marshall Plan with Africa. Our initiative stands for a new partnership for develop­ment, peace and a better future. "Food and agriculture" is one of the key elements of the Marshall Plan. It calls for better cooperation between international organiza­tions such as IFAD, FAO, WFP, the World Bank and others. A lot of progress has already been made, but there is still need for improvement. The 2030 Agenda pro­vides an opportunity for enhanced, more strategic and deeper collaboration among Rome-based agencies by creating synergies, avoiding duplication and building on their respective strengths and comparative advantages.


In view of the commencing new round of replenishment negotiations, we encourage IFAD to continue concentrating its efforts on the poorest countries and the most vulnerable people. Accordingly, we encourage IFAD to increase its activities in fragile and conflict-affected states in particular. Furthermore, we would like to point out that youth employment in rural areas is a topic of great importance to us – and not just for us, as it is part of the G20 agenda.


To conclude, I would like to stress that Germany will continue to be a reliable partner for IFAD. IFAD plays an important role in the international aid architecture. We will continue to support IFAD in its efforts to be a focused, transparent, highly effective and cost-efficient organization.