The United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says it is seeking to raise close to US$4 billion in donor funding towards investments in the world’s rural poor in pandemic recovery efforts.
The unprecedented record-high financing target set by governments from 177 countries at IFAD’s annual governing council meeting will facilitate long-term investments in global rural communities, which are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
An estimated 140 million people in the world’s fragile and remote areas will be reached by the funding amount through IFAD’s capacity building and support initiatives.
“Member states have made it clear that the fate of the poor and hungry matters; all of us are united in our battle against the impacts of COVID-19 and a rapidly changing climate—but none feel the impacts more profoundly than rural people in the world’s poorest countries,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD.
Combined with an expansion of IFAD’s pioneering climate change adaptation programme (ASAP+), a new private sector financing programme, and co-financing by national and international partners, IFAD aims to deliver a total programme of work of at least US$11bn from 2022-2024.
“It costs less to invest in sustainability and building long-term resilience to shocks than it does to respond to repeated humanitarian emergencies. That is why the Sustainable Development Goals exist, and this increased commitment to IFAD is an important step to delivering on them. The contributions pledged so far show our member states are determined to eradicate poverty and hunger, and are confident in the impact of IFAD’s work,” added Houngbo.
Already, 67 countries have announced new pledges totalling more than $1.1 billion in support of IFAD’s Twelfth Replenishment (IFAD12), a process whereby member states define strategic priorities and commit funds to the organisation for its work in 2022–2024.
In a strong show of support, the governments of Germany and France issued a joint statement that said: “As IFAD12 is both ambitious and necessary to address rural poverty at this critical time, the German government and the French government have both decided to significantly increase their financial support to IFAD to an all-time-high. We urge all member states to join us in making an ambitious contribution.”