International fund for agriculture invests $1.2bn in the region Published: Monday, 3 October, 2005, 10:40 AM Doha Time
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has invested $1.2bn in the Near East and North Africa region (Nena), of which Qatar is part.
Dr Mona Bishay, IFAD’s director of operations in the Nena region, told Gulf Times that the investment is made through 96 countries. Some 31 of them are currently under implementation, covering a total loan amount of $470mn.
This current loan portfolio has generated about $275mn in co-financing from other donor organisations or from domestic sources.
In addition, the IFAD portfolio in the Nena region includes a substantial amount of regional research grants, including in Qatar, Dr Bishay said. Such grants cover both borrowing and non-borrowing member states, such as Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates), as well as country-specific grants, she said.
The on-going Nena grant portfolio consists of 16 regional research grant projects for a total of $18.2mn, and 25 country-specific projects for a total of $10mn.
Dr Bishay was in Qatar to attend IFAD’s Doha Round of Consultations on the 7th Replenishment of Resources.
Talking about the fund’s volume of operations in the region, Dr Bishay said since its establishment in 1977, IFAD has maintained a strong presence in the Nena region.
Nena member states include 14 borrowing countries (Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen) and five non-borrowing countries (Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE).
The focus of IFAD interventions in the Nena region is driven by IFAD’s Regional Strategy for the region, as well as by individual country-specific strategies. These are prepared in consultation with the governments of the region and in support of their own national policies and strategies.
IFAD’s partners in the Nena region are numerous, aside from the governments themselves. They include regional development organisations such as the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID), the Kuwait and Abu Dhabi Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Opec Fund.
Besides, there are regional research organisations such as the Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD), the Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development (AOAD), the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), and the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). In addition, there are numerous local and international NGOs working in the region.
Policy dialogue emanates from IFAD’s on-going country programmes activities that provide a platform for policy discussions with government officials and other stakeholders. These have covered issues related to decentralisation and local governance, rural finance policy, and land and water policy, Dr Bishay said.