IFAD Approves US$204.39 Million for Rural Poverty Work Worldwide
Rome, Italy, April, 30 2009 -
Poverty eradication efforts in nine developing countries received a boost this week when the IFAD Executive Board approved more than $131.57 million in loans and $63.62 million in grants. The Board also approved $9.2 million in grants to international research centres and intergovernmental organisations. A new Rural Finance Policy - which confirms IFAD’s commitment to promoting increased access by poor and marginalized women and men to inclusive rural financial systems – was also endorsed.
Some 60 per cent of the Fund’s ongoing programmes and projects promote rural financial services and institutions that connect poor rural people to the world and help them cope with shocks such as severe weather events and commodity price volatility.
“Protecting and increasing the access of poor rural people to financial services is all the more important as the global financial crisis bites and as remittances shrink,” commented IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze.
IFAD’s Executive Board authorised a $23.89 million grant under the Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF) for the Fund’s first major programme in Afghanistan, to be implemented in partnership with the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan.
This new programme - the Rural Microfinance and Livestock Support Programme - seeks to provide a broader range of microfinance services tailored to small farmers and facilitate access by those who cannot afford current interest rates. In Afghanistan’s livestock sector the programme will help provide technology and inputs, including veterinary services.
“Despite the challenging security situation in many parts of the country, I am pleased that the Board has supported IFAD’s decision to start a programme in Afghanistan to focus exclusively on a largely under-served segment of the rural population - smallholders and poor herders, the nomadic Kuchis and women-headed households,” said Maria Donnat, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Afghanistan.