IFAD role in alleviating poverty, growth lauded ‘Kuwait committed to fund’s support’

ROME, Feb 17, (KUNA): Kuwait’s representative at Board of Governors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) asserted Sunday Kuwait’s strong support of the Fund and unique role in the field of development, as well as the fight against poverty.

Hisham Al-Wugayyan, also Deputy Director General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), told KUNA after his participation in the Board 36th session, which concluded meetings yesterday, that Kuwait is committed to supporting IFAD’s missions and objectives, mainly eradicating poverty through developing less fortunate rural classes.

He praised the session’s outcomes, especially ratifying the Fund’s ninth resources’ allocation of $1.5 billion for the 2013-2015 period in order to pump field investments to help some 85 million people out of poverty, pointing out that Kuwait has contributed its share of $15 million.

In this context, Al-Wugayyan pointed out that Kuwait, which was the forerunner in supporting this trend, also supported recommending IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze for a second four-year term, praising his efforts to reduce expenses and administrative reforms in the Fund, as well as establishing more regional offices in beneficiary countries.

On Kuwait’s catalyst role within the Arab and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Group of the Fund, Al-Wugayyan said that he, along with GCC representatives, have discussed with IFAD chief and officials the nature of partnership that “both parties aspire,” especially since Kuwait and the GCC states are donor countries and do not benefit from the Fund’s loans.

Yesterday’s meeting mainly discussed the possibility for GCC countries to benefit for IFAD’s technical assistance in solving problems related to fisheries, animal and soil erosion, overgrazing, lack of resources and dependence on food import; some 90 percent, he noted.

He also revealed that Kuwait, and after the success of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, which it held last
October, “is currently negotiating to join the Asian Development Bank this year to become the only Arab state to join this major financial institution.” The IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations, which was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa.

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