US$92.4m accord to improve livelihoods in flood-prone areas

US$92.4m to improve livelihoods in flood-prone areas

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Rome, 13 February 2018 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Bangladesh signed a financing agreement today to sustainably improve incomes and promote resilience to extreme weather conditions for 303,000 rural households in six flood-prone districts in northern Bangladesh.The agreement for the Promoting Resilience of Vulnerable through Access to Infrastructure, Improved Skills and Information project was signed by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh.
The total cost of the project is US$92.4 million, including a $63.2 million loan and a $1.2 million grant from IFAD. The government will contribute $27.9 million.
“The high incidence of poverty in the project area is due to seasonal flooding, inadequate rural infrastructure, low agricultural productivity, and limited livelihood opportunities outside farming,” said Benoit Thierry, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Bangladesh.
“The rural population faces challenges in accessing services and markets. The situation is aggravated by seasonal outmigration, often leaving women to look after their families and land. Together with the Government, we are addressing these challenges,” he added.
The project aims to improve rural peoples’ resilience in 25 flood-prone upazilas, or townships, through building weatherproofed infrastructure, creating off-farm employment opportunities, and strengthening communities’ ability to adapt to climate change related risks. The project will put in place an early warning system managed by the communities themselves, with the scope of scaling up this technique to other communities outside the target area.
The project will be implemented over six years and in six districts: Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, and Rangpur. These districts are often flooded due to overflows of the Jamuna and Teesta rivers. The infrastructure and flood information system will benefit the overall population of the project areas.
Since 1978, IFAD has financed 32 rural development programmes and projects in Bangladesh, investing $781.7 million or $2.02 billion when co-financing is included. These projects and programmes have benefitted over eleven million rural households. – IFAD pres release

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