By Warom Felix
International Fund for Agricultural Development IFAD has said investing in the rural poor is paramount to building peace and stability across the world.
Ahead of the 41st session of the Governing Council of IFAD on The Against a rising tide of people living in increasingly fragile situations, IFAD says the discussions that would be conducted on 13 to 14th February will feature international personalities and heads-of-state who will discuss how investing in sustainable rural livelihoods is central to peacebuilding, state-building and social stability around the world.
Speakers will include Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh will give a keynote address during the opening session, which includes a video address by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Millions of people across the world still live in abject poverty either cause by political instability, inability to afford food, shelter, clothing due to economic downturn. For instance, in some of the African nations like South Sudan, DRCongo and Central African Republic, many have been driven out of their country due to hunger and the wars.
Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency will share their views on opportunities and challenges in reducing rural poverty.
Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo and A South Sudan refugee child in a camp in West Nile. Internet photo and Aluma Aribo
Children and women remain the most affected by poverty. Investing in especially commercial agriculture remains important but unfortunately, most farmers still use rudimentary tools and farm on small scale. Besides, marketing of their products and value addition remains minimal to compete with products on the world market.
Monty Patrick Jones, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Helder da Costa, General Secretary of G7+Secretariat and J.J. Messner, Executive Director, The Fund for Peace will be discussants during events that look at how issues of fragility, including economic instability, can lead to migration and conflict, which further exacerbate hunger and poverty.
In addition, there will be an interactive panel discussion on the importance of investing in rural youth with representatives of youth organizations including Sebastián Pedraza from the National Rural Youth Network in Colombia, Mai Thin Yu Mon, Representative, Global Indigenous Youth Caucus, and Rita Kimani, co-founder of Farm Drive who was named one of The Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Who is IFAD?
IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$19.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 474 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.