World leaders call for innovative solutions and urgent financing to address rural poverty in a warming world at IFAD’s global meeting
ROME, Feb. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — World leaders today called for urgent and innovative investments to help rural communities in the world’s poorest countries adapt to climate change. Speaking at the opening of the annual Governing Council meeting attended by 177 Member States of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), leaders specifically highlighted the vulnerability of small-scale farmers to severe weather events, like the storms that devastated Madagascar in recent weeks.
“This heavy toll left by these cyclones causes difficulties for the farmers but also for the country,” said Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar. He called on other African leaders to develop a continental plan for agricultural development and to address the risks of climate change. “Let us pool our strengths, our potential and our know-how so that our countries reach food self-sufficiency and that our young people have jobs,” he said.
In his opening statement, IFAD’s President, Gilbert F. Houngbo, stressed that small-scale producers are being hit hard by a crisis they did not create and yet currently receive only 1.7% of climate finance. At the heart of the issue is inequity.
“The pandemic and climate change have starkly exposed the vulnerability of small-scale producers and the inequity that the people who produce a third of the world’s food receive only about six cents for every dollar of product they generate,” he said. “There is no sustainability or resilience without greater equity.”
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Acting Prime Minister of Fiji, also stressed the vulnerability of rural farmers to extreme weather. “We often say that our nations are at the front line of climate change. Our rural communities are the front line of the front line,” he said. “It is clear that eradicating rural poverty demands a radically new approach to building rural resilience”.
In 2020, global hunger levels increased in large part due to climate change, poverty and the impacts of COVID-19. One in 10 people in the world are currently hungry.
Over the next 3 years, IFAD will dedicate at least 40 percent of its core resources to climate finance. It is currently mobilising $500 million for its climate fund ASAP+ which aims to be the largest fund dedicated to channeling climate finance to small-scale producers.
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IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached an estimated 518 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub.
A wide range of photographs of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from its Image Bank.
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SOURCE International Fund for Agricultural Development
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