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Jump Starting Economic Dev. In Guinea-Bissau


UN-backed project aims to jump start economic development in Guinea-Bissau

A new project backed by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will boost the incomes and living conditions of some 100,000 rural poor in Guinea-Bissau.

With a $4.7 million IFAD grant, the $5.6 million Rural Rehabilitation and Community Development Project will focus on rebuilding communities with the participation of local public administration, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.

It will also bolster the role of the most vulnerable groups, including women and youth, in Guinea-Bissau, which was wracked by three decades of political instability and a civil war after gaining independence in 1973.

"The political scenario has evolved positively since 1999," said Cristiana Sparacino, IFAD's country programme manager in the West African nation. "There are encouraging signs that the new multi-party system can resolve political crises within a framework of democratic institutions."

She urged the international community to provide urgent support to help the country to achieve economic development.

The initiative's activities will be built around innovations proposed by participants themselves, and a local initiative fund will provide financial support to those who form partnerships to create new local rural development projects.

To date, IFAD has supported other projects in Guinea-Bissau totaling more than $20 million.

ENDS

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