Ecuador is a middle-income country with an economy highly dependent on oil and export agriculture. In the last 10 years, Ecuador made remarkable effort to fight poverty and inequality through increased social spending and important investments, with infrastructure, hospitals and schools having been impressively modernized.
However, the recent economic slowdown and the contraction of domestic demand is putting at risk these achievements, contributing to a rise in the overall poverty rate from 22.5 per cent to 24,8 per cent 2018.
The country has a population of 16.5 million people. One third of the population are concentrated in two metropolitan areas: Guayaquil and Quito, the capital. Rural population still accounts for 36.5% of the total. Social indicators also point to persistent inequality in both rural and urban areas. This situation is attributable to high unemployment and underemployment, low salaries, limited access to productive assets such as land, water, credit and technology, and deficient market linkages.
Shaping the country’s development model, modernizing the productive sectors, and reducing dependence on imported goods and services is among the priorities of the Government. To achieve this goal, rural smallholder producers will need to increase their productivity, efficiency and connectivity, by boosting technology use and accessing key rural services.
In Ecuador, IFAD loans support the diversification of the rural economy by promoting cooperatives and investments to generate employment and income for poor rural families.
Given its overall experience in the region, IFAD makes a tangible contribution towards supporting these efforts through investments in rural areas by combining innovation with action.
Key activities include:
- improving access to assets and resources to support diversification of the Ecuadorian rural economy, promoting, among other measures, associative enterprises and investments that generate employment and income for poor rural families in Ecuador; and
- increasing the capacities of rural poor producers and potential entrepreneurs to engage in, and benefit from, pro-poor and inclusive productive policies.
- Ecuador is a middle-income country with an economy highly dependent on oil and export agriculture.
- Almost one quarter of the population in Ecuador lives in poverty, most of them in rural areas.
- The rural poverty rate, at 43 per cent in 2018 , is almost triple the urban rate (15,9). The higher poverty rate is attributable to high unemployment and underemployment, low salaries, limited access to productive assets such as land, water, credit and technology, and deficient market linkages.
- 61% of rural women work in agriculture and livelihoods.
- Since 1978, IFAD has invested a total of US$151 million in 10 programmes and projects related to agricultural development in Ecuador, benefiting more than 291,767 households.