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43rd IFAD Governing Council

FAO HQ, 11 February 2020

His Excellency Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA, President of the Republic of Mali

Honorable Ministers, Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,Good morning.

 

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to FAO Headquarters.
 
Holding the IFAD Governing Council here at FAO premises is a clear indicator of how the Rome Based Agencies work together every day and support each other.
 
I am honored to welcome you today, having found out that delegations are mainly headed by Ministers of Agriculture, 30 out of 54, and related important key players as well represented today here.
 
Since last August, FAO is undergoing fundamental changes that are necessary to increase staff morale, transparency, openness, efficiency and inclusiveness.
 
A number of measures were taken that focus on improving FAO governance, modernizing our methods of work and ensuring that we are ready to meet the expectations of our Members and Partners.
 
Firstmost is SDG2: End hunger, achieve food security, produce more and better and strengthen sustainable agriculture, along with SDG1 for livelihood improvement.
 
At the same time, we need to pay due attention to economic growth and employment especially for women and youth in the rural areas.
 
So, the challenges in front of us are complex and a holistic

result-oriented approach is urgently needed.

 
This is why we have launched the Hand-in-Hand Initiative. The initiative identifies the best opportunities to raise incomes of the rural poor through agricultural transformation, by facilitating matchmaking donor and recipient countries in the most vulnerable regions.
 
The Initiative prioritizes assistance to countries in special situations, LLDCs, LDCs and SIDS, and countries in food crises.
 
The success of the initiative hinges on innovation and investment to fast-track agro-food transformation and sustainable rural development especially in countries where national capacities and international support are limited or where the population is vulnerable to natural disaster or conflict.
 
Making more and better investments in agriculture is therefore one of the most effective ways to reduce hunger and poverty while safeguarding the environment.
 
This is where the FAO Investment Centre comes into action.
 
The FAO Investment Centre supports Members implement and evaluate investment programmes, undertakes sector analyses and value chain studies and advises governments on policy and legislation.
 
The Centre works mainly in three-way partnerships with Member countries, international financing institutions and regional development banks.
 
It also partners with other national and international organizations, lending institutions, the private sector and producer organizations.
 
A team of 120 staff, at headquarters and in the field - supported by an active roster of more than 400 Consultants - carry out roughly 800 support missions per year.
 
Since its establishment in 1964, with World Bank, the FAO's Investment Centre has helped design and implement over 2,250 investment operations across 170 countries, valued at more than 140 billion US Dollars.
 
Last year, the Centre supported the design of a portfolio of 5.6 billion US Dollars in 26 countries, and supported the implementation of around 70 projects worldwide.
 
The collaboration with IFAD is substantial: on average, we are involved in approx. 40% of IFAD investment projects.
 
Last year, FAO supported the design of 7 IFAD projects for a total value of USD 1.25 billion. Five of these projects were in Sub-Saharan Africa.
 
I am very pleased to see a heightened interest of Member countries in the work of the Investment Centre as recently expressed by the EU and China, besides the World Bank and traditional partners.
 
And, we were happy to see the World Bank’s senior management recent positive review of the FAO-World Bank Cooperative Programme and its renewal of the commitment to our collaboration of more than 55 years. Even we will highlight this capacity together.
 
I hope that I have raised the interest of some of you in the work of the FAO Investment Centre. Our dynamic team is available to meet and present to you their activities in more detail.

 

Excellencies,

 

Achieving the SDGs is a team effort!
 
We need to mobilize all the key players and jointly provide innovative and sustainable solutions.
 
We need to engage Member Countries, the private sectors, civil society, academia, smallholder farmers, women and youth to be successful.
 
You can count on FAO to be an active partner to go along with you in the 2030 Agenda.
 
Let us work together, learn together and contribute together! Make this world more beautiful and  healthier.

 

Thank you! I wish you a successful meeting and a good time in Rome.

Thank you!

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