By Panagrimedia Correspondent, September 26, 2023, After France and Norway announced their highest-ever financial contributions to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) yesterday, preceded by Spain’s pledge of a four-fold increase last week, IFAD President Alvaro Lario is calling on leaders to urgently follow suit in response to growing global food insecurity, intractable poverty and the intensifying impacts of climate change on some of the world’s poorest small-scale farmers and rural populations.
France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, announced a record US$ 150 million pledge to IFAD’s 13th replenishment (2025-2027) at the Global Citizen Festival in New York on Saturday, representing a +60% increase in euro terms. Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, International Development Minister of Norway, announced that Norway will increase its contribution by 50%, to 972 million Norwegian Kroners (approximately US$90 million) at the concert event. Earlier in the week at the United Nations General Assembly, Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, pledged €20 million (approximately US$21 million), a four-fold increase from its previous contribution.
IFAD’s President Alvaro Lario urged global leaders to follow France, Norway and Spain’s lead. “Investments in rural populations and small-scale farmers must be scaled-up now. We need to ensure tomorrow’s food security and the very existence of millions of rural people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by climate change. There will be no global stability without stemming the growing hunger and poverty trend,” he said.
Earlier this year, countries from the Global South began announcing their next contributions to IFAD, with some significantly stepping up their support, an indication of their trust in IFAD and confirmation of the long-term benefits they derive from rural development and resilience-building programmes. Pledges have been received from Cambodia (US$1 million); Côte d’Ivoire (US$1 million); Democratic Republic of the Congo (US$500,000); Niger (US$182,000); South Sudan (US$100,000) and Tajikistan (US$10,000).
These early pledges along with the substantial increases just announced by France, Norway and Spain, represent a growing recognition of IFAD’s critical role in fighting global hunger and poverty, as referenced by leaders in the recent G20 declaration which called for an ambitious IFAD replenishment.
French President Emmanuel Macron is actively championing IFAD’s replenishment and will co-host the main replenishment pledging session on 14-15 December in Paris together with the President of Angola, João Lourenço. Janet Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury, has also reiterated the criticality of IFAD to alleviate rural poverty in the face of a changing climate and that the US is working with other fund members towards a successful replenishment.
IFAD is calling for US$2 billion in new financing from its member states to implement rural development programmes worth US$10 billion, thanks to the fund’s capacity to leverage additional borrowing, and to assemble development finance from other international financial institutions, governments and private investors. This provides a compelling value for money argument at a time when donors are seeking the greatest impact for every dollar of finance they provide.
“France is fully committed to the Paris Pact for people and the planet, collectively forged last June to fight poverty, climate and protect biodiversity. We decided to invest 150 million dollars in IFAD to fight poverty and hunger in rural areas. This is the highest commitment ever to an IFAD replenishment,” said Macron in a video broadcasted during the Global Citizen festival.
“We must all tackle the global food crisis together . Norway’s pledge will help small-scale farmers in Africa get the tools and technologies they need to adapt to climate change. Join us in calling other member states to increase their pledge to IFAD right now,” said Tvinnereim at the Global Citizen festival.
“We will support the International Fund for Agricultural Development with €20 million to further strengthen food security,” said Sánchez at the UN General Assembly last week.
IFAD is aiming to achieve a substantial real increase in its Member State contributions to extend its impact around the world. After decades of chronic under-investment in small-scale agriculture, IFAD’s current replenishment exercise presents an opportunity to define a new path towards improved food security and reduced poverty in partnership with governments receiving IFAD loans and grants.
IFAD funds projects and programmes that are developed hand in hand with rural populations so that they can adapt to climate change, boost and diversify their production sustainably, and access markets, technologies and finance which they need to earn a living income and move out of hunger and poverty.