11 December set for first formal pledging session
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As the countries of the world grapple and pass through the crucibles of excruciating hunger and poverty recently occasioned by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the world’s poorest countries are the first to pledge funds to the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to tackle the challenges their citizens are currently facing.
This was made known by IFAD in a statement issued and made available to Vanguard where it explained that the funds are to support its work to ensure that the most vulnerable rural people can sustainably access nutritious food and decent incomes.
According to IFAD ina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali have pledged to at least double their most recent contributions to it with large increases also coming from The Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, all in support of IFAD’s 12th Replenishment – a process whereby the Member States commit funds to the organization for its work in 2022-2024. Argentina, Egypt, El Salvador, Mongolia, Myanmar, and Nicaragua are also amongst the first countries to pledge funds.
The statement explains that the Fund aims to double its impact by 2030, including through a new private-sector financing programme and an expansion of its pioneering climate change adaptation programme (ASAP+).
During the replenishment period (2022-2024) this would help approximately 140 million rural people increase their production and raise their incomes through better market access, contributing to creating jobs and improving food security and nutrition for the world’s most vulnerable people. This includes women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, and people living with disabilities.
The Associate Vice President, IFAD, Marie Haga said: “With the enormous challenges we all face right now, these pledges are a testimony to the impact of IFAD’s work on the lives of rural people.
“We welcome the commitment of these nations, who are themselves, recipients of IFAD’s support, to prioritize rural people and invest in their most vulnerable populations.
“These countries from the Global South have sent a strong signal that they are prepared to stand up and help others tackle the immense challenges to end poverty and hunger.
“Now is the time for more of IFAD’s the Member States to make bold commitments. The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that no country can address these big issues alone.
“It is crucial to step up and work together to eradicate hunger and poverty and regenerate rural economies to build a more prosperous, peaceful, and resilient world for us all.”
Meanwhile, the statement reveals that in December, IFAD will host its first formal pledging session and it is calling on the Member States to significantly increase their contributions to help achieve the goal of a world free from poverty and hunger by 2030.