The International Fund for Agricultural Development
(IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an
international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the
1974 World Food Conference. The Conference was organized in response to the
food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries
IFAD's mission is to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty.
IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world's poorest people - 800 million women, children and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.
Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations 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.
IFAD's activities are guided by the Strategic Framework for IFAD 2002-2006: Enabling the rural poor to overcome poverty. The framework's three strategic objectives are to:
Underlying these strategic objectives is IFAD's belief that rural poor people must be empowered to lead their own development if poverty is to be eradicated. Poor people must be able to develop and strengthen their own organizations, so they can advance their own interests and dismantle the obstacles that prevent many of them from creating better lives for themselves. They must be able to have a say in the decisions and policies that affect their lives, and they need to strengthen their bargaining power in the marketplace.
All of IFAD's decisions - on regional, country and thematic strategies, poverty reduction strategies, policy dialogue and development partners - are made with these principles and objectives in mind. As reflected in the strategic framework, IFAD is committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the target to halve the proportion of hungry and extremely poor people by 2015.
The official website of IFAD.
Stamp catalogue - 25th anniversary