UN Programme to finance projects for rural youth and women farmers in Tunisia


18 February 2013 – Rome, Italy – The United Nations (UN) agency tasked with supporting agricultural projects in developing countries is boosting economic opportunities for rural youth and women in Tunisia through a programme that gives loans and grants to farmers and local communities.  The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced on 14 February that it would extend $11.4 million to finance the second phase of the Agropastoral Development and Local Initiatives Promotion Programme.

un-programmeThe programme “will intensify investment in infrastructure focusing on natural resource management and irrigation to improve agricultural productivity,” IFAD said in a news release.  “In addition, the programme will promote local economic initiatives by providing assistance and resources in the form of access to microcredit, knowledge and training opportunities.”

The agriculture sector makes up 8 per cent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product and provides employment to 18.3 per cent of the national labour force, according to figures cited.   Some 13,200 households in the southern province of Tataouine and the central desert area of Kebili are expected to benefit. In addition to funding from IFAD, the programme is co-financed by the Spanish Food Security Co-Financing Facility Trust Fund to Tunisia and by the projects’ beneficiaries.

The financing agreement was signed by Naceur Mestiri, Ambassador of Tunisia in Italy, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about US$14.8 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering over 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations’ food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 169 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD). More at http://www.ifad.org/index.htm

Source: United Nations