ROME, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Tuesday called on its 177 members to increase investment in rural development to help the Fund reach its goal of doubling its impact on the lives of the world's most marginalized population by 2030.
To reach that goal, the IFAD proposed a 30 billion-U.S. dollar program over the next 10 years.
"With extreme weather, conflict, fragility, and migration threatening our food systems, we need to invest more in the rural people who grow our food," IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo said on Tuesday. "We have just 10 years to reach our global targets of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. That means stepping up our investments where poverty and hunger are concentrated -- in rural areas."
The call for increased investments was made at the launch of IFAD's 12th replenishment, a year-long consultative process during which IFAD's members come together to agree strategic directions and mobilize funds for IFAD to provide as concessional loans and grants to developing countries.
The organization said it hopes to raise the production of more than 200 million small-scale producers, while increasing the incomes of around 260 million rural residents by at least 20 percent over the next decade.
According to Paul Winters, IFAD's associate vice-president in charge of the Strategy and Knowledge Department, this replenishment is unusually important because the money raised from members will be used to finance what he called the "last best chance" to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"We're raising money that will be spent over the next decade," Winters told Xinhua. "If we are able to make progress on the (SDGs) it will be because of what happens now in terms of raising funds."
Winters went on: "The world had a lot of success fighting poverty between around 2010 and 2015, but now success has been more limited," adding "We have to restart it."