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IFAD projects and programmes with indigenous and tribal peoples

IFAD has more than 30 years of experience working with indigenous peoples. Since 2003, an average of about 22 per cent of IFAD's annual lending has supported initiatives for indigenous peoples, mainly in Asia and Latin America. IFAD empowers communities to participate fully in determining strategies for their development and to pursue their own goals and visions by strengthening grass-roots organizations and local governance. In the process of working closely with indigenous communities, IFAD has learned that effective and sustainable development must be tailored to their identities, values and cultures.

In focus

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  • Too often development activities meant to assist poor rural women treat them as if they were all the same, says Myrna Cunningham Kain, President of the Centre for Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples. In reality rural women are a diverse population with different cultural backgrounds, knowledge systems and development challenges. Read more

  • A small idea originating in one of the world's most isolated places could help empower women across Indonesia.

  • The Waroani Women's Association, an indigenous group of women from the Ecuadorian Amazon, are now entrepreneurs thanks to the Corridor Central project, financed by IFAD and implemented by the Ecuadorian Instituto Nacional de Economía Popular y Solidaria, They have improved and strengthened their organizational capacities and entrepreneurial capabilities, including developing “Waorani, Hecho a Mano” (hand-made handicrafts) and organic cocoa production.