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IFAD and Bangladesh observe 45 yrs of successful rural transformation

Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Abdur Razzaque lauded the country’s work with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), noting that this “continuous collaboration is vital to creating an inclusive and empowering ecosystem for farmers to fortify resilience against climate change, foster sustainable food systems, and drive rural development with the ultimate goal of promoting rural prosperity.”

He highlighted the dramatic progress made by Bangladesh in the agricultural sector at an event on Wednesday (Aug 23) commemorating 45 years of partnership between IFAD and the Government of Bangladesh.
IFAD’s Associate Vice President, Programme Management Department, Donal Brown, was also present at the event.

Brown is visiting the country to deepen an already successful partnership by meeting with high level government officials such as Minister of Finance AHM Mustafa Kamal and seeing first-hand the impact of IFAD’s support on Bangladesh’s rural people by visiting project sites in Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Thakugaon.

“The collaborative spirit between IFAD and the Government of Bangladesh has been instrumental in driving innovation across multiple sectors, achieving positive change, and fostering inclusive development. Our achievements would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our partners – the Government of Bangladesh, international partners, local organizations, and, above all, the communities we serve,” Brown said.

Over the past 45 years, IFAD has supported 37 projects, mobilizing USD 3.9 billion in financing, to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 11 million families. IFAD-assisted interventions have invested in everything from ensuring easy and affordable access to rural finance and enhancing infrastructure development to promoting climate-smart agricultural practices.

“In an era when collaboration and innovation drive development, this occasion stands as a testament to the sustained efforts that IFAD and the government have devoted to rural development since 1978,” said Arnoud Hameleers, IFAD Country Director for Bangladesh. The event provided an insightful retrospective on the milestones achieved over the years, acknowledging the transformational impact of joint initiatives, projects, and programmes.

He added,” this was an opportunity to celebrate not just the accomplishments but the spirit of partnership and cooperation that have been the bedrock of this successful journey to a more sustainable and inclusive food systems approach”.

Brown emphasized IFAD’s commitment to achieving the sustainable development goals with focus on No Poverty and Zero Hunger in rural communities by moving from a project-based to a programmatic approach. Climate change adaptation is also a top priority.

Representatives from various ministries of the government, the United Nations, international organizations, and development partners attended the event.

Currently, IFAD has invested USD 519 million in Bangladesh, distributed across six ongoing projects implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Local Government Engineering Department, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation and the Bangladesh Water Development Board. Bangladesh has also shown its strong commitment to IFAD’s mandate, contributing USD 2 million to IFAD’s resources as a member of its Governing Council.