IFAD in Bangladesh
IFAD has been working in Bangladesh for more than 30 years and has developed in-depth knowledge of the country's needs in the areas of infrastructure, inland fisheries, agriculture, markets, microfinance and gender. Based on this experience, and in full alignment with the government's sixth five-year plan, IFAD is committed to supporting more commercial and remunerative livelihoods for farmers and fishers.
The IFAD 2012 Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) for Bangladesh has three main objectives:
- Enable poor people in vulnerable areas to better adapt their livelihoods to climate change
- Help small producers and entrepreneurs benefit from improved value chains and greater market access
- Economically and socially empower marginalized groups, including poor rural women.
The COSOP continues IFAD's successful targeting approach in Bangladesh. The country programme's target group includes people living in extreme and moderate poverty. Its targeting strategy starts by identifying geographic areas of poverty and then assessing household assets and needs – including food supply – in those areas.
The type of project activity determines which group is targeted. For instance, infrastructure development benefits the extremely poor, especially women, as well as other users of infrastructure in the target area. Value-chain development targets landless and marginal farmers, smallholder producers and rural entrepreneurs.
Project participants are chosen based on their access to credit and to assets such as land. IFAD's participatory rural appraisal mechanism and similar tools help to ensure the inclusion of women and indigenous peoples.
Beyond the loan portfolio, IFAD grant-funded activities in Bangladesh include the following:
- A project led by the International Rice Research Institute, which aims to develop improved farming systems – and build the capacity of small-scale and marginal farmers in coastal saline areas to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and food price inflation – with results that are already being scaled-up in larger, loan-funded interventions
- A partnership with the World Fish Centre, exploring the potential of small fish species to improve human nutrition
- Support for the finalisation of a new Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool, to track and demonstrate the results of poverty reduction interventions funded by donors and governments.
In the coming years, IFAD will continue to build on effective partnerships with the Government of Bangladesh, its ministries and agencies, and with donor organizations and civil society. Furthermore, IFAD will seek new partnerships and cooperation arrangements with the private sector – especially through projects adopting a value-chain approach – and will partner with think tanks such as the International Food Policy Research Institute for policy collaboration.