The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a specialised agency of the UN and was established on the 30 November 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.
The Fund's objective "is to mobilize additional resources to be made available on concessional terms primarily for financing projects specifically designed to improve food production systems, the nutritional level of the poorest populations in developing countries and the conditions of their lives". Through low-interest loans and grants , IFAD develops and finances projects that enable poor rural people to overcome poverty themselves , through individual or collective initiatives, projects and small businesses.
Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-governmental organisations and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing rural poor peoples' access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.
In general terms, donor contributions cover approximately 46% of IFAD's total resource needs, and the rest are met through reflows from past loans (49%) and investment incomes (5%). The Eight Replenishment Period (2010-2012) approved by the Executive Board in September 2009 provided IFAD with the means to achieve a major expansion (50%) in its programme of work of loans and grants to a record US$ 3 billion.
Membership in IFAD is open to any state that is a member of the United Nations or its specialised agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Governing Council is IFAD's highest decision-making authority, with 167 Member States (*) represented by a Governor and Alternate Governor and any other designated advisers. The Council meets annually . The Executive Board, responsible for overseeing the general operations of IFAD and approving loans and grants, is composed of 18 members and 18 alternate members.
At the 32th Session of the Governing Council (18-19 February 2009), Mr. Kanayo F. Nwanze was appointed new IFAD's President for a four-year term (2009-2012).
(*): last membership approved: Uzbekistan and Hungary (19 February 2011).Back to Work with IFAD