Joining forces to tackle rising hunger and the devastating impact of climate change in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) today signed a US$500 million cooperation and cofinancing agreement.

The agreement, signed by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Dr Bandar Hajjar, President of IsDB, will strengthen the two institutions’ four decades-long collaboration in support of the world's poorest rural communities.

Using their own resources, IFAD and IsDB will jointly finance priority projects in some of their 57 common member countries over the next five years with a cofinancing target of $500 million ($250 million from each institution).

“IFAD and IsDB have a long history of collaboration,” said Houngbo.

“Both institutions strive to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people and contribute to ending poverty. Through this agreement we can strengthen our impact in areas of common interests, including improving access to markets and rural financial services, increasing climate resilience and using technology and innovation to maximize impact.”

“The partnership we are signing today will allow us to co-create financing and investment programmes that will address these challenges but also help our member countries tap into emerging global value chain opportunities to build resilience and create wealth in a post COVID-19 world”, said Dr Hajjar.

The partnership will work on agricultural and rural development projects, support to agribusinesses, improved access to markets and rural financial services, water for rural development and South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Eight out of 10 of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas, and most depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

IsDB is a multilateral development financial institution with 57 member countries and a mandate of delivering social and economic development in its member countries and Muslim communities worldwide.