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Overview

Economic transformation has made great strides in Latin America and the Caribbean, yet wide inequalities persist. Home to 595 million people, this region offers valuable lessons, but there is still much work to do.

Most impressive is that all countries in the region, except for Haiti, are now considered middle-income. However, one person in four still lives in poverty, and the poor tend to be concentrated in rural areas. Eighty per cent of the region’s population is urban.

Among the poorest and most marginalized are women, indigenous peoples, and those of African descent. Some 15 million people live by farming a huge variety of crops; others inhabit expansive forests. However, traditional agricultural techniques are evolving in the face of economic and climate change.

Transforming rural communities

IFAD has been active in this remarkably diverse region, where we pioneered community-centric development, for four decades. By encouraging local people to identify projects that could enhance their prosperity, and then providing training and financial assistance to carry out those projects, we have helped to transform communities and demonstrate the benefits of bottom-up development strategies.

Working together, with and for the poor

IFAD partners with governments, NGOs and communities to draw up pro-poor policies that benefit rural areas, and to implement them in the most effective ways.

By the end of 2016, IFAD was working with 19 governments to deliver 37 ongoing programmes across the region, with a total investment of US$770 million.*

Our breadth of expertise and geographical reach enables us to promote knowledge-sharing between projects and regions. Partnerships are fundamental to our efforts to further expand policies that level the playing field for small farmers through policy dialogue and South-South cooperation.

Examples of our work include helping:

  • young people become entrepreneurs;
  • farmers understand and access markets; and
  • indigenous peoples manage irrigation systems more effectively.

Everywhere we work, we bring appropriate solutions that raise rural incomes and help people respond to climate change.

* This amount includes the contributions of the Spanish Trust Fund, managed by IFAD.

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Some of the most marginalized population groups can be found among the region’s 125 million rural people.

Over a quarter of the region’s population continues to live in poverty. In recent years, the absolute number of people living in poverty has increased.

Rural areas continue to experience inequality. In Bolivia, for example, poverty declined nationwide from 61 per cent in 2005 to 39 per cent in 2013. However, in rural areas, 60 per cent of the population lives in poverty and 39 per cent in extreme poverty.


Spotlight

Overcoming inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

Over the last three decades, the countries of Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) experienced a profound transformation which extended to rural areas.This economic and rural transformation resulted in many benefits, especially between 2004-2013, when millions of people left poverty behind

Where we work

Projects and programmes

Mexico

Social Economy: Territory and Inclusion Project
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Ecuador

Strengthening the Rural Actors of the Popular and Solidarity Economy Project (FAREPS)
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Argentina

Programme for Economic Insertion of Family Producers of Northern Argentina (PROCANOR)
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El FIDA evidencia que su apoyo ha mejorado los medios de vida de las familias rurales en el Ecuador

February 2020 - NEWS
La Oficina de Evaluación Independiente del FIDA y el Gobierno del Ecuador organizan un taller para presentar los resultados de una evaluación independiente de las operaciones del FIDA en el Ecuador en los últimos diez años (2009 a 2019), período en el que se ejecutaron cuatro proyectos en 16 provincias por un valor de más de USD 160 millones.

El FIDA presenta la evaluación de su labor de reducción de la pobreza rural en el Ecuador

January 2020 - NEWS

La Oficina de Evaluación Independiente del Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA) y el Gobierno del Ecuador están organizando un taller para presentar los resultados de una evaluación independiente de las operaciones del FIDA en el Ecuador en los últimos diez años (2009 a 2019), período en el que se ejecutaron cuatro proyectos en 16 provincias por un valor de más de USD 160 millones.

Call for Proposals: Scaling up renewable energy technologies in agriculture

January 2020 - NEWS
The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to identify the recipient of a three-year grant financed by IFAD of a total of US$2 million to implement the Scaling up Renewable Energy Technologies in Agriculture project.

Informe de Género e Inclusión Social: Región Andina

February 2020
Las desigualdades de género todavía están muy marcadas en los países andinos a pesar de la mayor atención que se está dando a la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de la mujer. 

Research Series Issue 59: The rural youth situation in Latin America and the Caribbean

December 2019

This study offers a general picture of the situation of rural youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The Latin America and Caribbean Advantage: Family farming – a critical success factor for resilient food security and nutrition

December 2019
Development projects that integrate investments in rural indigenous people, youth and women with measures to adapt to climate change are more likely to be successful in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a new report launched today by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).