IFAD Vice-Prez calls for additional investments and focus on rural development in Global South

Cornelia Richter, Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development

The Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD),Cornelia Richter,
has said that the world needs to harness the power of exchanges between countries in the Global South to help reduce poverty and improve food and nutrition security, while addressing global challenges arising from population growth and climate change

Cornelia Richter, was addressing delegates at the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

“South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) has an important role to play in delivering and accelerating rural solutions to improve food and nutrition security — not least because many countries of the Global South share similar climatic, environmental and economic features with each other,” Richter said.

“As a result, rural innovations and technologies developed in the South can be adapted to other countries of the South much more easily and appropriately than those designed in the North, for the North.”

Forty years after the Buenos Aires Plan of Action in 1978, world leaders convened again in the capital of Argentina this week to discuss how to shape a sustainable future by sharing knowledge, technology and expertise, enhancing trade and investments, and learning from each other’s experience.

The steady rise of the Global South in recent decades in terms of population size, economic outputs and political weight, has triggered a proportionate increase in the importance of SSTC. But at the same time, challenges have also increased. Today, nearly 821 million people are chronically undernourished; mainly in the developing countries.

“The enormous potential for SSTC in agriculture, food production and rural development must be exploited to a much greater extent than it is today so that the world, in particular developing countries, can adequately meet the challenges of the future,” Richter said. “IFAD has a particular role to play by imbedding cross-country technological and knowledge exchange into our projects and programs. Developing countries can also co-finance projects and programs in other developing countries. We are identifying such opportunities to apply SSTC more systematically.”

In the past, SSTC primarily entailed sharing technical expertise, knowledge and skills about issues such as livestock, health, food processing and efficient water use. Today, technical cooperation also includes dialogue on regional policy coordination and other government actions that are crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. IFAD promotes SSTC as a key mechanism for delivering relevant, targeted and cost-effective development solutions and other resources to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and poor rural people.

During the conference, which is known as BAPA+40, the United Nations Rome-based food and agriculture agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, IFAD and the World Food Programme – hosted several events to promote dialogue and to identify required actions to pave the way for a food-secure future. On behalf of the agencies, Richter gave the opening remarks at an event on 20 March.

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