IFAD in the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria


IFAD has provided funding for five projects in Algeria since 1987, supporting government strategies to eradicate rural poverty with loans for a total of US$65.6 million. Three projects have been completed and three are ongoing. The first generation of IFAD's projects in the country focused on the development of both agriculture and fishing. They addressed the most important problems facing the crop, livestock and artisanal fishery production systems. They also dealt with natural resource management through soil and water conservation, watershed management and reforestation. They extended support for credit delivery and recovery services for smallholders as well as for social infrastructure development such as the drinking water supply.

The second generation of projects focused on:

  • Strengthening the participatory programming and capacity-building of grass-roots organizations and provincial local public administrations
  • Enabling the beneficiaries to access socio-economic and productive assets, including improved irrigation infrastructure, soil and water conservation, management of silvopastoral ecosystems, livestock husbandry and rural tracks
  • Promoting the development of rural microenterprises through sustainable access to local financial services, especially by women and unemployed youth.

Three fundamental principles characterize the participatory local development approach of second generation projects: wider consultation through enhanced outreach, training and information; participation in the allocation of project resources; and enhancement of the role in implementation of the people who benefit directly from the projects, through support for the emergence of collective economic interest groups that are autonomous and responsible for the management of community initiatives.

Given the increase in oil revenues of recent years, the government of Algeria has decided to use its budget surplus to liquidate most of its external debts.  As a result, Algeria anticipated repayment of the balance due on IFAD loans for five projects and cancelled the loan for the sixth project. Algeria will finance the three ongoing projects from its national budget. They will be implemented as designed, with a strong focus on rural poverty reduction.

IFAD's strategy in Algeria

IFAD's strategy in has the aim of increasing productivity and incomes arising from sustainable activities undertaken by poor rural people. The strategy also addresses food security and diversification of production. IFAD investments support commodities that have a comparative advantage on national and international markets, and promote a healthy private sector supported by the government through regional and foreign trade agreements.

The organization is concentrating its efforts in three agro-ecological zones where the incidence of poverty is higher than the national average and where alternatives to agriculture are limited. The zones include mountainous areas in the northern part of the country, the steppes, Saharan areas in the south, and the coast, where poor artisanal fishing communities are located. In line with the government's strategy, IFAD's efforts aim at combating rural poverty, with a strong linkage to improving natural resource management and poor people's access to local rural financial services.

The main objectives of IFAD's strategy are to:

  • Address the basic needs and aspirations of poor rural people to create a favourable environment for growth and strengthen linkages through an area-based development approach
  • Promote decentralized participatory planning and implementation through support for local institutions and grass-roots organizations
  • Increase poor people's access to productive resources such as land, water, technological know-how and financial services
  • Support natural resource management linked to diversification of production by supporting commodities that have a comparative advantage on the market.

IFAD supports the government's decentralization efforts and  Algeria's shifting emphasis from a centrally planned agricultural sector to a market-oriented agricultural economy driven by the private sector. Taking into consideration the limited capacity of existing agricultural support services for private farmers, IFAD targets lower income groups and priority subsectors such as agricultural production, rural financial services and microenterprise development. The focus is on rural development rather than commodity-specific agricultural development. 

Source: IFAD