International Fund for Agricultural Development

Document Summary: 

Organization Profile: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)  is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, the UN’s food and agriculture hub. IFAD catalyses public and private investments, helps strengthen policies and promotes innovation, in order to achieve sustainable benefits for the poor at scale and support all countries to achieve lasting, systemic change. Since 1978, they have provided US$22.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached an estimated 512 million people. IFAD is the only specialized global development organisation exclusively focused on and dedicated to transforming agriculture, rural economies and food systems. They target their support to reach the last mile and remotest areas, to help millions of rural people to increase their productivity and access markets, create and access jobs and rural economic growth, increase their incomes, move out of poverty and improve their food and nutrition security, build their resilience in the face of a changing climate and manage the natural resource base sustainably, improve their coping mechanisms in fragile and conflict environments, and strengthen their voice, capacities and organizations.

IFAD promotes agricultural growth that is environmentally sustainable and integrated into ecosystems. The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) of IFAD is the largest global climate adaptation programme for smallholder farmers. They channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers, helping them to reduce poverty, enhance biodiversity, increase yields and lower greenhouse gas emissions. ASAP has received US$300 million in contributions. It has helped eight million vulnerable smallholders in 43 countries cope with the impact of climate change and build more resilient livelihoods. The ASAP fund allows IFAD country programmes to design projects from a climate-informed perspective and leverage resources for technical assistance.

Financing Instruments: Loans, Grants

Project Scale: Forestry related projects have ranged from approximately US$8-65 million. The maximum implementation period is three years for small grants and five years for large grants. 

Recipient countries/ regions/country groups: Global

Eligibility Criteria: Grants may be provided to: (i) developing Member States; (ii) intergovernmental organizations in which Member States participate; and (iii) other entities which the Executive Board determines to be eligible pursuant to article 8 of the Agreement. Country-specific grants must be closely linked to each country’s strategic opportunities programme or IFAD’s country-level strategic objectives.
The Fund shall provide loans to private sector entities in accordance with the Private Sector Strategy established by the Executive Board or pursuant to other approvals granted by the Executive Board. 

Application Guidelines: Through broad country-level consultations, a results-based country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) is developed. A COSOP draws out the main lessons learned in the country; articulates IFAD’s comparative advantage in that country; defines a limited number of strategic objectives to which all IFAD activities – investment projects, policy engagement and other non-lending activities – will contribute; and presents concept notes for one or more proposed projects.

By July of each year, IFAD's  Executive Management Committee issues annual guidance on the strategic direction of grants for the following year. First decisions are made by December, with a second round by the end of March by the Operational Strategy and Policy Guidance Committee regarding clearance of grant concept notes submitted by the department heads.

Publication Date
Thursday, 01 April 2021
Applicable location
Climate change
Community forestry
Financing opportunities