Italy and IFAD sign new Partnership Agreement; Pope Francis and Conte at Governing Council

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ROME, FEBRUARY 7 – The president of IFAD, Gilbert Houngbo, and the Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Emanuela Del Re, signed today a new Partnership Framework Agreement focused on agricolture,  access to rural financial services and climate change. Today’s ceremony comes ahead of the upcoming  42nd session of the annual Governing Council meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Pope Francis will address the opening session on February 14, joined by notable speakers, including the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez, the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, and the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte. The two-day event will feature interactive sessions that explore investment opportunities, technical innovations and development challenges confronting smallholder agriculture.

IFAD and Italy are committed to ensuring that this partnership agreement will reinforce their mutual development objectives of reducing rural poverty, promoting sustainable development, working together towards the Agenda 2030, IFAD’s Houngbo said. The new framework agreement is a template for future project agreement financed by the Italian government, remarked the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. “I believe that this new agreement will be an effective platform for developing new collaborations between Italy and IFAD, also through an involvement of Italian research centers, universities and civil society”, said Del Re.

IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, it has provided US$20.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 480 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.(@OnuItalia)