PEACE and stability are not possible when people are hungry and poor, says the International Fund for Agricultural Development. In a statement issued by IFAD’s communications specialist Caroline Chaumont, IFAD president Gilbert Houngbo, prior to the Paris Peace Forum, said he would ask global leaders to consider the crucial role that increased investment in rural areas of developing countries could play in addressing the root causes of conflicts.
“Peace and stability are not possible when people are hungry, poor and left behind. With hunger on the rise for the third year in a row, it is urgent to increase financing for long-term development that result in the economic and social transformation of rural areas,” Houngbo said.
He said hunger and poverty were global plights that could only be solved through collective and coordinated action, involving government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, and multilateral institutions, as well as research centres, academia, and most importantly rural women and men.
Houngbo further indicated that about 80 per cent of the poorest and most food insecure people of the world lived in rural areas.
He said food security represented a basic requirement for peaceful societies as acknowledged by the UN resolution 2417 adopted last May.
“By investing in rural areas, IFAD helps improve rural livelihoods, food security and youth employment and in doing so contributes to stability. With a longstanding experience in some of the most remote rural areas in developing and emerging economies, IFAD works closely with governments and local communities and understands the root causes of conflicts. For example, IFAD has significant experience working in fragile situations, implementing projects to help communities manage natural resources peacefully,” the statement read in part.
At the forum, Houngbo would participate in the panel ‘Gender equality: is time up?’ where he would underline the importance of gender equality and explain why it was a pre-condition to end poverty, enable sustainable development and ensure lasting peace.