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New Loan To Help Senegal

UN’s Agricultural Development Agency Packages New Loan To Help Senegal

New York, Oct 16 2006 5:00PM

The United Nations agricultural development agency has helped assemble a $47 million aid package to benefit small farmers in Senegal, who are battling erratic rainfall, eroding quality and declining prices of their main products, groundnuts and cotton.

The loan, which includes $20 million in co-financing from the World Bank – and roughly the same amount from the Senegalese government and producers organizations – will be for extending critical agricultural advisory services to all 320 rural councils in the country.

Agriculture is the livelihood for 60 per cent of Senegalese households but three-quarters of the rural people live in poverty, according to a statement from the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is providing $6 million in a loan.

Another $300,000 from IFAD is a grant to provide services and to strengthen producer organizations, to help small farmers network around the country on local development issues to better defend small holders’ interests.

The loan will also support agricultural research and government ministries responsible for agriculture, to assist police development and coordination, IFAD said.

Since it started operations in 1978, IFAD has provided more than $133 million in loans to Senegal to support 13 projects and programmes.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.

Through low-interest loans and grants, it develops and finances projects that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves. There are 188 ongoing IFAD-supported rural poverty eradication programmes and projects, totalling $6.3billion. IFAD has invested more than US$2.9 billion in these initiatives, with the rest coming in as co-financing from governments, beneficiaries, multilateral and bilateral donors and other partners.

Ends

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