IFAD team in city to see projects’ impact in rural Bangladesh

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A delegation of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) began a five-day working trip to Bangladesh on Sunday to look at impact of development projects on living conditions and livelihoods in rural Bangladesh.

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.

They will visit IFAD-funded projects designed to increase incomes and improve living conditions for rural poor in the country, according to a statement received from Rome on Sunday.

The IFAD Executive Board members will wrap up their visit with meetings with Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury.

In Bangladesh, 32 percent of the people still suffer from acute malnutrition. Income-generating opportunities for women help to increase household food security and help combat household malnutrition.

IFAD currently invests in six ongoing 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.

One in three rural inhabitants in the country lives below the poverty line. IFAD investments contribute to improve 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).

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 to maximise investments.

Since 1978, IFAD has directly invested $717.2 million in 31 rural development projects in Bangladesh, benefiting an estimated 10.7 million Bangladeshi households.