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UN Announces $8.7 M Programme For Lesotho

UN agriculture fund announces $8.7 million programme for support Lesotho

The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today announced the launch of an $8.7 million programme aimed at helping some 37,000 poor rural people in Lesotho have better access to financial services.

The effort aims to enable beneficiaries to invest in on-farm or off-farm microenterprises and build their financial and household assets, IFAD said in a news release.

The $10.7 million Rural Financial Intermediation Programme is supported by a $4.35 million loan and $4.35 million grant from IFAD.

"This new programme will help poor rural people access financial services that respond to their specific needs," said Fumiko Nakai, IFAD's country programme manager for Lesotho.

"Poor people who are capable of engaging in income-generating activities will have better access to capital for investment," she said. "And very poor people with meagre incomes will also benefit because they, too, will be able to gradually accumulate savings and have places in which to safely deposit those savings."

"The programme will help formal and informal financial institutions develop a range of financial services, including money transfer and insurance services."

The Fund has supported agricultural and rural development in Lesotho since 1980 by investing in seven programmes and projects to reduce poverty in the country's rural areas. With the new initiative, IFAD's support to Lesotho now totals over $50 million.


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