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Al-Mashat Hails Partnership With IFAD Fund in Promoting Innovative Solutions to Advance Rural Development

On Tuesday, the Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation  Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, delivered a speech to members of the Executive Board and Senior Management of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as part of the activities of the 2nd session of the 13th replenishment consultations held at the IFAD’s headquarters in Italy, to increase capital and mobilize the necessary resources to support the Fund’s efforts to promote development. The President of IFAD, Alvaro Lario, invited Al-Mashat to review aspects of the effective partnership between Egypt and the Fund and its role in promoting comprehensive and sustainable rural development, supporting small farmers and motivating member states to inject more resources.

The meetings were attended by the President of IFAD, Alvaro Lario, the African Union Envoy on Food Systems, Ibrahim Mayaki, along with members of the Executive Board, Senior Management and representatives of Member States.

In her speech, Al-Mashat stated that the gathering of representatives of member states in the consultations of the 13th replenishment of the resources of the IFAD in Italy confirms the collective commitment to strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development, stressing Egypt’s keenness to participate in these consultations in light of the vital role it plays with the IFAD to enhance food security and stimulate agricultural and rural development efforts.

Al-Mashat also stressed the vital role played by the IFAD in the agricultural sector, the economy and the well-being of society in light of its acquisition of a huge proportion of the workforce and its importance in achieving food security in light of the current challenges that prevent the promotion of these efforts. The most prominent of said challenges are climate change and the acceleration of population growth. H.E. then referred to the close relationship between Egypt and the IFAD and their commitment to joint work with national authorities to achieve comprehensive and sustainable rural development.

Al-Mashat continued, “The partnership with the IFAD has been strengthened through financing and innovative solutions and the implementation of projects that have contributed to the advancement of rural communities and the empowerment of small farmers. We appreciate this cooperation, which is positively reflected in enhancing agricultural productivity and rural entrepreneurship and supporting the ability of farmers to withstand climate change.”

H.E. noted that the percentage of those suffering from food insecurity increased by 25% over the past year, to record 258 million people. In this regard, the IFAD has supported more than 6 million people in 41 countries, by allocating funds and reaching $990 million in 70 development projects, which reflects the great developmental impact achieved by the Fund through its projects in different countries.

The Historical Partnership between Egypt and IFAD

Al-Mashat reviewed the partnership with the IFAD over the past four decades, which is based on a joint commitment to sustainable rural development and raising living standards for rural communities. H.E. said that the Fund cooperates with national agencies directly and small and lower-income farmers in Egypt and the regions, especially those most vulnerable to climate change. The Fund is at the forefront of institutions that have promoted efforts to empower women and youth to enable them to contribute effectively to promoting development efforts.

H.E. stated that through development cooperation over the past decades, the portfolio with the fund has increased to a record of $1.1 billion, through which 14 projects have greatly contributed to making a significant change in the lives of farmers and citizens, benefiting about 1.3 million farmers, along with millions of beneficiaries indirectly.

H.E. further explained that during COP27, the IFAD was officially selected as the main development partner for the food pillar within the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy platform, the NWFE program, the linkage between water, food and energy projects. That was in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the main development partner for the energy pillar, and the African Development Bank (AfDB) is the main partner in the water pillar.

Al-Mashat stressed that the NWFE program reflects Egypt’s commitment to mobilizing climate finance and private investments for the green transition and translating climate pledges into implementation through projects that are feasible, realistic and attractive to investors.

The Food Pillar within the NWFE Program

Al-Mashat added that the selection of the IFAD to become the main partner in the food pillar within the NWFE program was not random, but rather it was based on its accumulated experience in providing integrated and innovative solutions to promote sustainable rural development, and the Fund’s extensive global experience in financing programs. Its cost-effective solutions reflect the benefit of citizens and its track record of being one of the most prominent international institutions working in the field of financing agricultural and rural development and mobilizing resources to confront climate changes and supporting farmers with small holdings.

H.E. explained that within the framework of joint cooperation within the NWFE program, the IFAD and the Egyptian government are working with a group of development partners, whether multilateral development banks or the United Nations and private sector, to design and develop adaptation programs with climate change, and work to implement a selection of priority projects in the field of achieving food security, promoting agricultural and rural development, introducing modern irrigation methods, and strengthening early warning systems against climate change.

Al-Mashat stressed that the total investments for these projects amount to about $3.3 billion, noting that the IFAD is working closely with development partners to mobilize investments, concessional development funds and technical support for implementing investments and projects that directly affect the lives of citizens.

At the end of her speech, Al-Mashat sent a message to the member states about the importance of the role of the IFAD and the need for member states to support the consultations of the 13th replenishment of the resources in order to enable the increase in capital and mobilize investments. In light of the mentioned three priorities proposed for the coming period; 1)Climate and biodiversity, 2)Involving the private sector, and 3)Addressing the causes and effects of poverty, affirming Egypt’s commitment to supporting the 13th replenishment of the IFAD based on it being a member country and to enhance its efforts in achieving agricultural and rural development.

“Together, let us support the 13th Replenishment of IFAD’s Resources, fostering a future in which an extraordinary global effort leads us towards a more secure and sustainable world,” H.E. concluded.

It is worth noting that the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) derives its primary financing from several sources, and these sources include contributions from member states and other donors, investment revenues and loan repayments.

In order to ensure the continuity of the Fund’s operations, the Fund’s establishment agreement states that the Board of Governors shall periodically review the availability of resources for the Fund, through a one-year consultation process, and the process concludes with a report specifying the commitments that the Fund has agreed to undertake, and the contributions that Member States undertake to make.

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