|IFAD President Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo speaks at the session
The event, themed “From fragility to long-term resilience: Investing in sustainable rural economics", also gathered representatives from 175 other member nations of the fund.
In his opening speech, IFAD President Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo stressed the need to increase investment for long-term development in rural areas for a more stable and prosperous world.
Poverty can be the cause of instability and conflict, Houngbo said, noting that many conflicts and humanitarian crises happened in 2017, forcing many people to leave their homes and leading to immigration at the record level.
Many areas over the world have also experienced extreme weather and increasing poverty, he added.
He cited the data of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) saying that about 1.6 billion people in the world lived in fragility in 2016, 480 million of them were extremely poor.
He attributed the situation to instability, conflicts, inconsistent management, poor institutions, and inability to recover from economic crises and natural disasters.
Long-term investment in rural areas is the basic element to create stability, he said.
IFAD’s support projects in 2010-2015 helped 24 million people on the planet escape from poverty, he noted.
Participants focused their discussion on ways to sustainably invest in rural areas. They also set a goal of backing a nonrefundable assistance and loan programme of IFAD worth US$3.5 billion to promote poverty alleviation in developing countries.
IFAD, a specialised agency of the United Nations based in Rome, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.
Since 1978, IFAD has provided US$19.7 billion in non-refundable aid and low-interest loans for developing countries through many projects on poverty reduction, benefiting about 474 million people.