Switzerland steps up efforts to combat rural poverty worldwide

Press releases, 22.05.2024

At its meeting on 22 May 2024, the Federal Council decided to support the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with a total amount of CHF 49.5 million between 2025 and 2027. IFAD's overarching goal is to drive forward the fight against poverty and hunger in rural areas. The Federal Council's decision continues Switzerland's support for IFAD, which has been ongoing since 1978.

CHF 47 million will go towards the replenishment of IFAD, which takes place every three years. A further CHF 2.5 million has been earmarked for IFAD's newly created 'additional climate contributions'. Based in Rome, IFAD works to help strengthen smallholder farming, sustainable agriculture and the fight against poverty and hunger. It invests primarily in rural populations, enabling them to improve food security and increase incomes. In this way, IFAD helps to make food systems more local, productive, resilient and sustainable.

IFAD's 'additional climate contributions' and Switzerland's role

IFAD's priorities are in line with the objectives of Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 and the upcoming strategy for 2025–28. The newly created 'additional climate contributions' strengthen IFAD's role as a funder of climate- and biodiversity-related projects for smallholder farmers. Switzerland was the first country to support the creation of 'additional climate contributions'. Switzerland is also particularly committed to promoting gender equality and supporting young people, as well as encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation with the involvement of the private sector.

IFAD is uniquely positioned as a pioneering organisation, as it has the status of both a specialised UN development agency and an international financial institution. It is also committed to sectoral policy reforms. Since its foundation in 1978, IFAD has worked on more than 1,000 projects and programmes in over 90 countries, with more than 50% of its activities taking place in rural Africa. Around 460 million people have benefited from IFAD projects to date.

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