IFAD's Governing Council elects a president

Press release number: IFAD 18/05

Rome, 16 February 2005 - Lennart Båge was re-elected today for a second, four-year term by delegates attending the Governing Council.

Båge, a Swedish national, has served as the president of IFAD since April 2001.

This year, two candidates were nominated for IFAD’s presidency.

Indonesia nominated Jannes Hutagalung to be IFAD’s next president. Hutagalung is currently an expert staff to Indonesia’s Minister of Finance for debt management.

Hutagalung did not obtain sufficient votes to remain a candidate in today’s first round of voting. As a result, the Governing Council appointed Lennart Båge, the only remaining candidate, to a second term of office, to start on 1 April 2005.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world's poorest people - 900 million women, children and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods. Through low-interest loans and grants, IFAD works with governments to develop and finance programmes and projects that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves.

There are close to 200 ongoing IFAD-supported rural poverty eradication programmes and projects, totaling US$ 6.5 billion. IFAD has invested about US$ 3 billion in these initiatives. Co-financing has been provided by governments, beneficiaries, multilateral and bilateral donors and other partners. At full development, these programmes will help more than 100 million rural poor women and men to achieve better lives for themselves and their families. Since starting operations in 1978, IFAD has invested US$ 8.5 billion in 676 projects and programmes that have helped more than 250 million poor rural men and women achieve better lives for themselves and their families.