€12.5 million in Irish Aid funding has been announced for farmers in developing countries.

Speaking today (Tuesday, February 16) at a pledging event for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora Colm Brophy said that the funding, which is in place for the period up to 2024, will help farmers to “improve food systems for rural communities in developing countries”.

‘Conflict continues to disrupt food systems’

“Farmers in developing countries face unprecedented challenges in 2021. Climate change creates new uncertainties, exposing farmers to more frequent extreme weather events,” the minister said.

Covid-19 and associated restrictions have played havoc with agricultural markets. Conflict continues to disrupt food systems and, sadly, is making too many millions hungry.

“I look forward to IFAD using Irish support to build on its strong track record addressing the impact of climate change on rural communities, in ensuring that women farmers benefit as much as men and, importantly, delivering sustainable food system solutions for people in developing countries.”

67% increase over Ireland’s previous contribution

Today’s pledge of €12.5 million for the IFAD’s 12th replenishment period (2022 to 2024) represents a 67% increase over Ireland’s previous core contribution of €7.5 million for IFAD’s 11th replenishment period (2019 to 2021).

The IFAD is an international financial institution and specialised UN agency based in Rome.

The fund’s objective is the eradication of poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries, using agriculture as the engine for achieving this goal. Through loans and grants, the IFAD supports projects that target extremely poor and food-insecure people in rural areas.

Ireland was one of the founding countries and the IFAD’s membership has grown to include 177 countries.

Ireland presently holds one of the alternate member seats on the 36-member executive board and will be resuming its seat on the board in April 2021 for a three-year period.