IFAD Signs New Loan Agreements [Archives:1997/51/Business & Economy]

December 22 1997

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is investing about $ 134 million in 14 rural and agricultural development as well as poverty-combating projects worth $ 480 million in Yemen. More than a quarter of a million families living in living in rural areas in Tihama and the southern and eastern governorates are set to benefit from these projects. Prior to the unification of Yemen in 1990, around $ 100 million had been provided by IFAD. After unification, five projects have been initiated by IFAD: the Borrowing project, the 4th Fisheries project, the Tihama project, and two more projects this year. IFAD provides financial assistance to all sorts of rural and agricultural development schemes, including agricultural research, livestock, fisheries, and investment in infrastructure projects. During his recent visit to Yemen, Mr. Fawzi Hamad Al-Sultan the President of IFAD, signed an agreement with the Yemeni government to finance two new projects worth $ 24 million for rural and agricultural development in the Jabal Reima area and the southern and eastern governorates. “IFAD started its cooperation with Yemen in 1979 with much emphasis on small farmers and rural women,” said Mr. Al-Sultan. He stressed the importance of female participation in rural and agricultural projects. “Rural women need to be trained and educated to be able to actively participate in the process of development,” Dr. Al-Sultan pointed out. As for obstacles, Mr. Al-Sultan referred to the lack of proper basic services and infrastructures as the main factors impeding the implementation of many rural development projects in Yemen. Again, he stressed the need for a “more meaningful public participation to make such projects successful.” Farmers who had their lands nationalized by the former regime in southern Yemen will be given the chance to benefit from lands that will be cultivated in a project jointly run by the Yemeni government, IFAD, and the World bank. “We just don’t encourage the drilling of new wells at the moment in order to decrease, as much as possible, the depletion in Yemen’s precious water resources.