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COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    29th Apr, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown threatening the lives and livelihoods of the world's most vulnerable people, the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched a multi-donor COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) to support farmers and rural communities to continue growing and selling food.

Context

With the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown threatening the lives and livelihoods of the world's most vulnerable people, the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched a multi-donor COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) to support farmers and rural communities to continue growing and selling food.

About

  • IFAD's new multi-donor fund, the COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility, will mitigate the effects of the pandemic on food production, market access and rural employment.
  • As part of the broader UN socio-economic response framework, the Facility will ensure that farmers in the most vulnerable countries have timely access to inputs, information, markets and liquidity.
  • On top of its own contribution, IFAD aims to raise at least $200 million more from Member States, foundations and the private sector.
  • The planned interventions fall into four main categories:
    • Providing inputs and basic assets for production of crops, livestock and fisheries
    • Facilitating access to markets to support small-scale farmers in selling their products in conditions where market functions are restricted
    • Targeting funds for rural financial services to ensure sufficient liquidity and to ease repayment requirements so as to maintain services, markets and jobs
    • Promoting the use of digital services to deliver key information on production, weather, finance and markets

About IFAD:

  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, the UN’s food and agriculture hub.
  • Founded in 1977, the organization invests in rural people, empowering them to increase their food security, improve the nutrition of their families and increase their incomes.

The issue:

  • About 80 percent of the world's poorest and most food-insecure people live in rural areas. Even before the outbreak, more than 820 million people were going hungry every day.
  • A recent United Nations University study warned that in a worst-case scenario, the economic impact of the pandemic could push a further half-billion people into poverty.
  • A majority of the world's most impoverished people are already suffering the consequences of climate change and conflict.
  • An economic downturn in rural areas could compound these effects, generating more hunger and increasing instability, especially in fragile states.
  • The COVID-19 crisis could undo the progress the world has made in reducing rural poverty (SDG1) and threatens to aggravate already declining food security (SDG2).

Significance of the initiative:

  • The Rural Poor Stimulus Facility aims to improve the food security and resilience of poor rural people by supporting production, market access and employment.
  • The ultimate goal of the RPSF is to accelerate the recovery of poor and vulnerable rural people from the COVID-19 crisis.
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