The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), one of the three Rome-based UN agencies, has agreed to provide USD 40 million as part of the USD 305.7 million co-financing needed to back the Rural Financial Intermediation Program the Government of Ethiopia is about to implement.
David Florentin Paqui, regional communication officer for Africa Communication Division under IFAD’s external relations and governance department, told The Reporter via email that both IFAD and Ethiopian have signed the financing accord that IFAD will contribute a USD 35.1 million in grant and a USD 4.9 million in loan for a total of USD 40 million for the project.
“As soon as the other development partners will sign the agreement with your government, they will announce it [their contributions] respectively,” the officer said.
The financing agreement for the Rural Financial Intermediation Program (RUFIP III) was signed on Wednesday by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD and Zenebu Tadesse, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.
The total cost of the program is USD 305.7 million, and the government of Ethiopia will contribute USD 51.9 million and USD 900,000 will be contributed by 13 million beneficiaries. The program is expected to assist vulnerable farmers through creating access to financing and to diversify income generating activities.
Back in November, as part of the USD 451 million financing for the implementation of the Lowlands Livelihood Resilience Project, IFAD has agreed to provide a USD 90 million loan. The rest of USD 350 million will be secured in a co-financing scheme from the International Development Association (80 percent loan and 20 percent grant) and USD 11 million contribution to be channeled from beneficiaries themselves.
According to information obtained from IFAD, the project will help to install small-scale irrigation technologies to reduce dependence on erratic rains. Women representing 50 percent of the half-a-million beneficiaries and youths, the project activities will cover the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas in the Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela, Oromia, Somali and Southern regions.
According to the information IFAD has provided since 1980, the UN agency has invested USD 795.5 million in 20 rural development programs and projects in Ethiopia worth a total of USD 2.1 billion, directly benefiting some 12 million rural households. IFAD establishes to be one of three Rome UN agencies that include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) under the UN system.