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International Fund for Agricultural Development


The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a specialised agency of the United Nations mandated to enable poor rural women and men to improve their food security and nutrition, raise their incomes and strengthen their resilience.

IFAD’s work focuses on poor rural people, including poor smallholder farmers, fishermen and pastoralists, as well as landless and indigenous people. IFAD’s programmes aim at improving poor rural people’s access to financial services, markets, technology, land and natural resources. IFAD works with governments, civil society, the private sector, donors and other stakeholders.

As an international financial institution, IFAD provides grants and loans on favourable terms to developing countries, as well as to middle-income countries affected by widespread rural poverty. Its grants and loan-financed programmes are implemented by national authorities, while IFAD supervises their implementation and provides advisory services on both technical and policy matters. IFAD also provides expertise in the agricultural sector and supports innovation to help small-scale agriculture become more market-oriented, sustainable and climate resilient, and benefit from functioning agricultural value-chains.

IFAD’s main commitment is to reduce poverty and food insecurity in rural areas of developing countries. Hence a strong positive correlation exists between its mandate and Switzerland’s development cooperation priorities.


Please find more information about the Swiss cooperation with IFAD in our factsheet or contact Carmen Thönnissen Michel the SDC Programme Manager IFAD.