14 September 2007 – The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced that it has approved almost $200 million in grants and loans to support initiatives to bolster the living conditions of the rural poor in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Near East.
In West and Central Africa, IFAD will make $5.7 million in loans and $15 million in grants available.
Some 28,000 farmers in the Woleu-Ntem province of Gabon will receive funding to help diversify their incomes through the development and marketing of new products form such staple crops as bananas, cassava and peanuts.
In Guinea, a grant will help finance a project to bolster local governance in rural areas while in Guinea-Bissau, one of the world’s poorest nations, another grant will assist 100,000 rural people build their communities through rehabilitating infrastructure and bolstering grassroots organizations.
Lesotho, Uganda, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Pakistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Armenia, Morocco and Yemen will also receive IFAD grants or loans.
Additionally, the fund approved six grants to international centers conducting agricultural research and development activities in rural areas in poor nations.
IFAD supports nearly 200 ongoing rural poverty eradication programmes and projects, worth $6 billion, to reach 82 million rural poor people worldwide