IFAD loan and grant to boost agricultural productivity in Tunisia
New economic opportunities for rural youth and women
Rome, 12 February 2013 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will extend a loan and grant of US$ 11.4 million and a loan of $ 16.1 million from the Spanish Food Security Co-Financing Facility Trust Fund to the Republic of Tunisia, to finance the second phase of the Agropastoral Development and Local Initiatives Promotion Programme in the South-East. The programme will aim to improve agricultural productivity and stimulate job creation for rural youth and women.
The financing agreement was signed today by Naceur Mestiri, Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia in Italy and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
Poverty and unemployment still present a challenge in Tunisia where the agriculture sector makes up 8 per cent of the country's gross domestic product and provides employment to 18.3 per cent of the national labour force.
The programme is co-financed by the government of Tunisia and the projects' beneficiaries. It will intensify investment in infrastructure focusing on natural resource management and irrigation to improve agricultural productivity. In addition, the programme will promote local economic initiatives by providing assistance and resources in the form of access to microcredit, knowledge and training opportunities. The overall aim is to improve the income of, and create jobs for, rural women and men.
Training and resources will be provided to local community representatives and partner organizations to strengthen their capacity to engage effectively with other participants. Overall, 13,200 households in Tataouine and Kebili provinces are expected to benefit.
With this new programme, the Fund will have financed 11 programmes and projects in Tunisia since 1980, for a total IFAD investment of $393.9 million, benefitting 96,810 households.
Press release No.: IFAD/06/2012
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about US$14.8 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering over 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 169 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).