The COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai, UAE, the Netherlands announced an historic pledge of US$150 million to the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), stressing the need to support small-scale producers who are on the frontlines of climate change and critical to future global food security.
Djibouti, Fiji and Mauritania have also unveiled their financial pledges, with Djibouti recently making a tenfold increase, Fiji renewing its commitment, and Mauritania pledging a 50% increase, adding momentum in the campaign to replenish the UN specialized agency’s resources for the next triennium (2025-2027).
The Netherlands’ pledge matches France’s announcement in September, becoming some of the highest single pledges made to IFAD in its 45-year history. These record-breaking commitments underscore the growing support for IFAD’s investments in agricultural development, reaching the world’s poorest rural communities.
IFAD is calling on Member States to contribute to an ambitious US$2 billion in new financing to implement rural development programmes worth US$10 billion, thanks to IFAD’s capacity to leverage additional borrowing, and to assemble development finance from other international financial institutions, governments and private investors.
“With the substantial increase we are witnessing in early pledges, member states are indicating that they trust IFAD to invest where it is needed the most,” said Alvaro Lario, President of IFAD. “This means IFAD investing with governments to strengthen the most vulnerable rural people’s ability to cope with economic and climatic shocks, while generating opportunities for them to have productive and prosperous lives in the rural areas where they live,” added Lario.
A total of 23 countries have now announced their commitments to the 13th Replenishment of IFAD’s core resources, and over 50 countries are expected to communicate their pledge at the session in Paris. Fundraising will then continue during 2024 and until the targets are met. Typically, over 100 countries contribute to IFAD’s replenishments, making it the most widely supported of all the major IFI replenishments.
Liesje Schreinemacher, The Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, expressed the importance of supporting rural producers and pledged Netherlands support to IFAD’s goal to double its impact in improving smallholder productivity, income and resilience for over 100 million rural people.
“Farmers in vulnerable areas are facing a crisis that they did not create. And that’s not just their problem. It’s a problem for all of us. So we must work together to bridge the finance gap,” said Dutch Minister Schreinemacher. “Organizations like IFAD play a vital role in this regard. Let us support them and continue to strive for zero hunger worldwide,” she added.
The Netherlands has increased its contribution to IFAD by 81% compared to the previous three-year cycle. Minister Schreinemacher highlighted the Netherlands’ commitment to increasing its climate finance to more than 1.8 billion euros a year by 2025.
Angola and France will host the final replenishment consultation session on 14-15 December in Paris. “I want to invite here all countries present to participate in December to IFAD’s replenishment,” said Emmanuel Macron, President of France, at COP28.
“IFAD is going to play a key role in reconciling the agricultural objective with the climate objective. And that’s an indispensable fight because we cannot ask African countries to choose between climate and agricultural production,” he added.
IFAD launched its 13th replenishment in February 2023, calling for increased investments in small-scale farmers and rural people across developing countries. IFAD’s resources are replenished every three years by Member States.