Sweden strengthens partnership to accelerate economic empowerment for rural women

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Sweden strengthens partnership to accelerate economic empowerment for rural women

5 March, ROME – Recognizing the multiplying effects of investing in rural women, the Swedish Government – through its development agency Sida – announced a US$5 million commitment to the Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (JP RWEE).

JP RWEE is an initiative implemented in partnership between the Rome-based United Nations Agencies — the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – along with UN Women.  By joining forces, the four agencies, in collaboration with implementing partners, have generated significant results on the ground.

Launched in 2014, the JP RWEE is implemented in seven countries – Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda – and works to enhance the productive potential of rural women by improving their access to and control over resources, services and opportunities, and enables them to have a voice in their households and communities. In addition, the programme works to create a policy environment that enables support for the economic empowerment of rural women.

“Sweden has shown leadership and commitment to the economic empowerment of women and to enhancing their capacity to eradicate hunger, poverty and discrimination,” said Azzurra Chiarini, JP RWEE Global Coordinator.  “This is an important building block for sustainable development and for the achievement of Agenda 2030.”

To date, the programme has benefitted over 41,000 women and 213,000 household members, who have received training on agricultural production, nutrition, income generation, leadership – just to mention a few - as well as agricultural tools, technologies, and credit to start or expand their activities. The additional contribution from Sweden will make it possible to reach more rural women and their families in the most vulnerable areas of the seven countries, and to extend the partnership for one year. 

“Evidence shows that the integrated approach applied by the JP RWEE is crucial for promoting women’s empowerment in development projects and has a greater impact on poverty reduction, as women tend to reinvest their income in education for their children or healthcare for their families,” said Mats Åberg, responsible for the cooperation at Sida. “Sweden is happy to continue supporting a programme that has shown promising results and hopes that these new funds will convince other donors to join the partnership.”

Since programme launch, Sweden has been a key partner and the largest donor to the Joint Programme.

IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$19.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 474 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

Press release No.: IFAD/18/2018