The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was established in 1977 (headquartered in Rome). IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty in rural areas of developing countries.
As of February 2015, IFAD has 176 member states. The resources of IFAD are formed through voluntary investments of member and other countries and organizations. The Republic of Armenia is an IFAD member since 1993 and is among developing countries(c).
Within the framework of the cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and the IFAD, since 1995 it has been implemented and is being implemented 7 programs with IFAD resources in Armenia totaling to USD 89.5 million. The IFAD practice has shown that substantial support to agriculture is an effective way to quickly reduce poverty. These funds are especially concentrated in the country's poorest rural areas, mainly in the highlands and border areas. The goal of investments is increasing production and productivity through private sector development which is considered as the main tool for poverty reduction.
IFAD-supported programs implemented in Armenia are:
- “Rural Capacity Building Programme”
- “Marketing Opportunities for Farmers”
- “Rural Areas Economic Development Programme”
- “Agricultural Services Programme”
- “Northwest Agricultural Services Programme”
- “Irrigation Systems Rehabilitation Programme”
Currently the following program is being implemented in Armenia with IFAD support:
Infrastructure and Rural Finance Support Programme. The overall objective of the programme is to improve the economic and social status of the population in selected, most disadvantaged rural areas generating employment and income opportunities. The programme includes 4 components:
- Rural Finance;
- Rural Areas Water Supply and Irrigation Infrastructure Improvement;
- Farmer Awareness and Support;
- Programme Management.
The total amount of the programme is USD 52.8 million, of which USD 11.4 million is the IFAD share (a loan of USD 11.0 million and a grant of USD 0.4 million).