Rome, 30 September 2011 – One year after devastating floods, thousands of farmers` fields have been washed away and, following recent floods in Pakistan, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has announced a $40.2 million loan to support rural areas. The five-year rural development program for the Caribbean coast (better known as NICARIBE) will receive $8 million in funding from FIAD, or $4 million in the form of a highly granted loan and $4 million in grants. The program also benefits from $4 million from the U.S. Central Bank for Economic Integration, $2 million from the Government of Nicaragua and other counter-funds. Managua, 27 September 2011 – The Government of the Republic of Nicaragua today signed a loan agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a new $15 million rural development programme for the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. This week, Stubbs traveled to Nicaragua with Nicaragua`s Fidad Country Program Manager, Ladislao Rubio, to sign the new loan agreement and meet with high-level Nicaraguan government officials to discuss the growth of the ifad portfolio in the region. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about $13.2 billion in subsidized grants and loans to developing countries, helping some 400 million people lift people out of poverty and helping to create vibrant rural communities. The IDF is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome, the United Nations Centre for Food and Agriculture. It is a unique partnership of 166 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) The loan agreement for the South Punjab Poverty Reduction Project was signed today in Rome by Tasnim Aslam, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Italy and Kanayo F. Nwanze, FIAD President.
Siddiqui said it was encouraging to see IFAD advancing its agricultural and rural development programmes in the country. The new loan contract covers some of the flood-affected areas, where small farmers will benefit from projects aimed at providing alternative employment opportunities outside of agriculture. Southern Punjab is located in Pakistan`s cotton and wheat zone and has been largely neglected by development aid. Many basic elements of infrastructure are lacking in the region and the distorted distribution of land leaves many vulnerable people, especially women, who have to fight for the few jobs available for the landless. Recent analyses of poverty have shown that poverty in this region is one of the highest in Pakistan. The most affected areas in Sindh province are Badin, Tando Mommend Khan and Mirpur Khas, said Aassim Siddiqui, founding trustee of OSDI, who is participating in the 2nd Global AgriKnowledge ShareFair company at IFAD headquarters in Rome.