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November 27, 2011

Mauritania receives US$17.9 million agriculture loan and grant

A US$17.9 million loan and grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to Islamic Republic of Mauritania will help to improve the incomes and the living conditions of poor rural households depending on agriculture, the United Nations rural poverty agency has announced.

The loan and grant agreements are for the second phase of the Poverty Reduction project in Aftout South and Karakoro regions.

While the country’s agriculture is fragile due to recurrent drought and the desertification, the sector employs more than 56 per cent of the country’s population.

During this second phase of the project, the Government of Mauritania and IFAD will work together to boost the potential of the agriculture sector by enabling vulnerable rural households to significantly increase their production, part of which will be used to improve their food security; to create jobs for young people in agriculture, and other related occupations. The project will also focus on capacity-building activities to help women to acquire access to new economic opportunities and responsibilities within the rural organizations.

The project will build on the accomplishments of the first phase, which began in 2002 in an area known in Mauritania as the “poverty triangle”. During this time, the percentage of households suffering from periodic food shortage decreased and improvements increased such as the status of children’s nutrition, overall living conditions and basic infrastructure.

The second phase of the project will help build an economic and social fabric based on sustainable natural resource management that will be inclusive to poor rural households, particularly women and young people. More than 21,000 vulnerable rural households, women and young people will benefit from the project.

To date, IFAD will have financed 13 programmes and projects in Mauritania for a total investment of US$115.1 million benefiting 181,950 households.


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