As hunger threat grows across Africa, IFAD President visits Japan this week to strengthen work in the affected region

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As hunger threat grows across Africa, IFAD President visits Japan this week to strengthen work in the affected region

Rome 25 July 2017– Gilbert Houngbo, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will travel to Japan this week to meet with senior officials at the Foreign Affairs, Finance and Agriculture ministries to discuss ways to strengthen their shared work to reduce poverty while increasing food and nutrition security in Africa.

In addition, Houngbo, the former Prime Minister of Togo, will meet with officials at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to discuss the links between human security, food security and development, particularly in Africa.

Houngbo’s visit comes at a time when 30 million people are facing famine and hunger in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and neighbouring countries. A combination of conflict, recurring severe drought and high food prices are at the root of the crises, which earlier this year the United Nations identified as the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the second World War. His visit will focus on strengthening the long shared commitment of Japan and IFAD to medium and long term rural development as a more sustainable solution to fighting future famine.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations that was established as an international financial institution in 1977 in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. Working with rural people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD invests in long-term development in rural areas where 80 per cent of the poorest people live.

As a founding member of IFAD, Japan has pledged a total of more than US$504 million to IFAD. The country focus aligns well with IFAD’s strategies, particularly in Africa, with Japan taking a leading initiative on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). IFAD contributes to two initiatives launched through the TICAD process. These include the Coalition for African Rice Development, which aims to double rice production in African by 2018, and the Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa, which coordinates multi-sectorial interventions to improve nutrition across the region.


IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$18.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 464 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.For more about IFAD, visit