Ifad chief visits Pakistan with commitment to rural poor

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Ifad chief visits Pakistan with commitment to rural poor

Related tags Poverty Pakistan

The president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development is visiting Pakistan this week to renew the UN agency’s commitment to alleviate rural poverty and boost food security in the country.

Kanayo F. Nwanze will meet President Nawaz Sharif and other government ministers during his visit to Pakistan, where an estimated 60m people live below the poverty line, mostly in rural areas. 

Ifad is committed to supporting the government of Pakistan in tackling rural poverty​,” said Nwanze. “In order to end hunger, we have to promote sustainable agriculture, which means investing in rural smallholder producers​.”

Vision 2025, the government’s national poverty reduction strategy, is aimed at reducing poverty by half by 2025, and lifting Pakistan to an upper middle-income country.

Agriculture is the largest sector in Pakistan’s economy, accounting for 42.3% of total employment, and is the primary source of livelihood of the rural poor. But in the country’s many mountainous areas, rugged terrain and ecological fragility make agricultural production and access to markets difficult for the isolated communities who live there.

Ifad financing in Pakistan is focused mainly on promoting the sustainable economic transformation of the rural poor and ultra- poor households by builiding assets, providing vocational training, and access to microfinance and technical assistance

Having provided more than US$604m in financing for 26 projects since 1978, Ifad has also focused building institutional capacity and links to markets, and strengthening policy and institutions for better community-led development.

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