A delegation of member state representatives from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) begins a five-day working trip to Bangladesh today, with planned visits to IFAD-funded projects designed to increase incomes and improve living conditions for rural poor in the country.
The delegation includes 11 members of IFAD’s Executive Board who represent the governments of Angola, Brazil, China, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Switzerland, and the United States.
IFAD currently invests in six on-going projects in Bangladesh. The current portfolio focuses on increasing poor rural people’s ability to generate income, facilitating their access to markets and financial services, and helping them to adapt livelihoods to the effects of climate change.
The IFAD delegation will visit three IFAD-supported projects in the country and meet with community members and local development practitioners to review the impact of the projects on people’s living conditions and livelihoods and discuss the challenges that they are facing.
IFAD’s work in Bangladesh has contributed to gender equality and women’s social and economic empowerment by facilitating women’s access to microfinance, training and income-generating activities. Rural poor women have also been specifically targeted to participate in infrastructure work in rural areas.
In Bangladesh, 32 per cent of the people still suffer from acute malnutrition. Income-generating opportunities for women help to increase household food security and help to combat household malnutrition.
One in three rural inhabitants in the country lives below the poverty line. IFAD investments contribute to improved food production and income for smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs. IFAD’s poverty alleviation work in the country is in line with Bangladesh’s seventh five-year plan (2016-2020).
To maximise investments, IFAD works with a number of partners in Bangladesh including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Government of the Netherlands, Government of Spain, German KfW Development Bank, Republic of Korea, Norwegian NORAD, Danish DANIDA,USAID and International and National NGOs.
The IFAD Executive Board members will wrap up their visit with meetings with Matia Chowdhury, Minister of Agriculture, and Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Minister of Finance in Bangladesh.
Since 1978, IFAD has directly invested US$717.2 million in 31 rural development projects in Bangladesh, benefitting an estimated 10.7 million Bangladeshi households.