IFAD/Belgian Fund for Food Security Joint Programme

The Belgian Survival Fund (BSF) was created in 1983 by the Belgian Government in response to drought and famine in sub-Saharan Africa. The following year, BSF and IFAD formed a partnership to pursue a common goal; helping poor people in rural areas overcome poverty and improve food security. Joint Programme (JP) interventions target the most vulnerable populations in the most fragile parts of Africa. From January 2010 the BSF will be renamed the Belgian Fund for Food Security (BFFS) to better reflect its food security agenda.


KWFT - Kenya

The Joint Programme takes an intersector approach to its development interventions. It helps build a solid foundation for poverty reduction by coordinating activities in different sectors – economic, social and institutional. Healthy, educated communities are also more productive communities. As they become more empowered, they are better able to improve their living conditions, manage their own livelihoods and take advantage of opportunities for off-farm employment and enterprise development.



The key to the success of the IFAD/BFFS partnership is complementarity. BFFS and IFAD support different sectors. Together their strengths create a unique synergy and bring added value to joint projects. While IFAD supports rural economic development, the JP provides grants that address basic needs such as health, sanitation and family nutrition, food security and the reduction of malnutrition, access to water, land, education and capacity building, and credit. The JP helps maximize the performance of IFAD's investments; the complementary funding it provides in social and agricultural sectors has been shown to improve poverty reduction and wellbeing for rural communities.

A typical Joint Programme project is financed by a BFFS grant (a maximum of 45 per cent of total project costs), an IFAD loan (a minimum of 55 per cent of total costs) and contributions from other financial partners, including governments, NGOs, community-based organizations and other community groups. Because of the importance of their role in strengthening the business skills of rural people, local farmers' organizations and national microfinance institutions often contribute to, and participate in, JP projects.