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IFAD and Japan join global push to tackle poverty in rural areas

Fostering common strategies to bolster food security and poverty reduction in Africa

17 octubre 2018

Rome, 17 October 2018 – IFAD and Japan's International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to expand their existing projects across Africa, with a focus on knowledge and operational exchanges for sustainable agricultural practices. 

The partnership reinforces Japan and IFAD's commits to medium and long term rural development to fight future famines while increasing food security and reducing poverty.

Current figures suggest some 30 million people are going hungry, with some risking famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and neighbouring nations. A combination of conflict, recurring droughts and high food prices are at the root of the crises.

"The Memorandum is particularly important because it also serves as an important framework for IFAD’s engagement and contribution to development in Africa. By working together, IFAD and JICA will be able to scale-up positive results for smallholder farmers who can be the agents of change to transform rural areas," said IFAD Partnership Officer, Haruka Yamazaki.

IFAD and Japan have a strong track record of investing in joint-initiatives, such as the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD), launched in 2008 with the aim of doubling rice production in Africa by the end of 2018, and the Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA) – which organizes cross-sector interventions to improve nutrition across the region. The new partnership deal with JICA will also enhance collaboration through the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion scheme (SHEP) – created in 2013 to boost food production, and the newly established African Initiative for Combating Desertification to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa (AI-CD), which is in its second year.

JICA promotes international cooperation as well as sustainable development by supporting enterprises centred on the recovery of financial stability in emerging economies and the quality of livelihoods in rural areas of Africa.

Japan founded the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) which IFAD supports. The renewed partnership with JICA will provide a platform for IFAD’s contributions to the development agenda under TICAD.

As a pioneering member of IFAD, the government of Japan has committed over US$560 million to the institution since it was founded over four decades ago. The next TICAD conference is scheduled for next year with IFAD's President set to attend.