The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.
IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries.Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poorest people – 1.05 billion women, children and men – live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.
Working with poor rural people, governments, donors, NGOs and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing poor rural people’s access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.
IFAD is a unique development partner of the Philippines in that it is the only one dedicated exclusively to helping the government and other stakeholders reduce poverty and food and nutritional insecurity in rural areas. To achieve this, IFAD has worked to:
- empower the poorest segments of the rural poor, especially women and indigenous peoples, living in highly fragile and vulnerable ecosystems in the uplands of the Cordillera highlands and on Mindanao Island;
- assist the government and poor rural people to pilot innovative approaches for rural poverty alleviation using participatory community empowerment, and building on indigenous knowledge systems and practices;
- bring to the Philippines knowledge that recognizes and demonstrates both the centrality of agriculture in the economic livelihoods of poor rural people and the broad elements that shape their ability to increase their productivity and incomes ; and
- foster strong partnerships with many government agencies (particularly Department of Finance, National Economic Development Authority, Dept. of Budget and Management, Commission on Audit, Department of Agriculture, Dept. of Agrarian Reform, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Trade and Industry, Local Government Unitss, National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, LBP, PCFC and Small Business Guarantee Fund Corp., NGOs and development partners (notably the Asian Development Bank, European Union, OPEC Fund for International Development, UN agencies and World Bank) for poverty alleviation through agricultural and rural development programmes and policy dialogue.
Since 1978, IFAD has committed a total of US$168.8 million in financing for 12 programmes and projects in the Philippines. These IFAD-financed programmes and projects have focused on securing access to land in ancestral domains for indigenous peoples, microfinance development, microenterprise promotion, facilitating access to natural resources for poor rural people, natural resources management, and conflict prevention and peace-building through resettlement of ex-combatants.
Ongoing IFAD projects in the country include the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2) working with indigenous peoples in the six provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region, the Rapid Food Production Enhancement Programme (RaFPEP) supporting the government’s Rice Self-Sufficiency Plan, and the Rural Microenterprise Promotion Programme (RuMEPP) covering 19 poor provinces.
IFAD has extended its mission to help the Government of the Philippines and other stakeholders to reduce poverty and food insecurity in rural areas, and is focusing on the following strategic objectives for the next five years (2010-2014): upland areas development, agri-business and value chain development, andcoastal resource management.
Click here to read the Philippines country factsheet, Enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty in the Philippines.