Rome, 27 November 2018 – Against the backdrop of rising global hunger, Pope Francis will join world leaders at the opening ceremony of the Forty-Second session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, on 14 February 2019.
The Governing Council – which meets annually with all 176 of IFAD’s Member States in attendance – provides an opportunity to heads of state and government to work on some of the world’s most intractable challenges around poverty and hunger in the most remote areas of developing countries. This year’s event, focusing on the theme “Rural innovation and entrepreneurial spirit”, will explore how investing in technology, innovation and small enterprise development can address many of these challenges.
Pope Francis will be taking part in the opening ceremony of IFAD’s major annual meeting for the first time. Eradicating rural poverty and hunger, the Fund’s core global mandate, remains a crucial issue that is of constant concern to the Holy Father.
On the occasion of World Food Day last October, the Pope stated in his message that “we can and we must do better for the helpless. We must move to concrete action, so that the scourge of hunger disappears completely”.
Since its founding in 1977, IFAD has targeted its investments to millions of rural women and men to enable them to grow more food, feed their families better and raise their incomes. IFAD-supported projects have demonstrated that – with access to financing, markets, technology and information – rural people can build resilience, expand their activities and take charge of their own development.
For further information on IFAD’s work, visit the website www.ifad.org
IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have 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.