Twelfth Replenishment: Rural prosperity, food, resilience

While the number of people living in extreme poverty fell from nearly 2 billion in 1990 to 736 million in 2015, and hunger has declined for decades, the poorest and most marginalized people continue to be left behind. More than 820 million people go hungry every day, and the wealth gap is widening. Poverty, hunger and inequality can strike anywhere but they are concentrated in rural areas, where most of world’s poorest and hungry people live. That’s why the road to the SDGs runs through rural areas.Rural people bear the brunt of these challenges yet they are also essential partners in the solutions. An estimated 63 per cent of the world’s poor people work in agriculture, the overwhelming majority on small farms. Small-scale farmers produce 50 per cent of all food calories on 30 per cent of the world’s agricultural land. Rural development with agriculture at its centre can radiate prosperity through communities and societies. Prosperous small farms can not only provide food but can also create jobs, and raise demand for locally produced goods and services. This in turn spurs opportunity, economic growth and more stable societies. IFAD has a key role to play, because it is the only multilateral development institution exclusively focused on transforming rural economies and food systems to make them more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable.