- Cape Verde Island's poverty eradication drive has been boost by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) pumping of US $4.2 million to the West African country's rural poor communities, bringing the agency's total supplementary loan funding for the programme to US $13.5 million.
The initiative is aimed at assisting poor rural people so that they easily integrate into Cape Verde's fast-growing economy. It forms part of Cape Verde's Rural Poverty Alleviation Programme that will run until 2012 at a total cost of over US $36 million.
“This model programme is becoming a major national policy instrument to fight poverty in rural areas” said Mohamed Béavogui, Director, West and Central Africa Division of IFAD.
“It will help implement Cape Verde’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy and serve as a laboratory to develop effective approaches to community-driven development in other countries in the region.”
The main goal of the programme is to assist about 60,000 poor rural people, particularly women, through improving food security and market access as well as productivity in agriculture, fisheries and livestock.
The agreement was signed on Friday in Rome by José Eduardo Barbosa, Cape Verde’s Ambassador to Italy and IFAD President Lennart Båge.
During the first two stages of the programme, legal, institutional and financial mechanisms that have already proven effective in reducing poverty will be fully utilised. It will make sure that improvement is achieved in food security, nutrition, incomes and access to markets. The programme also seeks to increase productivity in agriculture, fisheries and livestock.
The programme is financed under IFAD's Flexible Lending Mechanism that releases funds in three phases. The agency provided an initial loan of US $9.2 million over a ten-year period from 2000-2009 for a total cost of US $18.34 million. The government of Cape Verde funded the rest of the loan and will provide approximately US $12 million for the third phase.
Since 1978, IFAD has made loans of US $28.6 million to Cape Verde to finance four rural development and poverty reduction projects valued at US$66.9 million overall.
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