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Spanish Govt gives 300mln Euros to target rural poverty

Mon 21st Feb 2011

The Spanish government has created a new €300 million fund to target food security and poverty in rural areas, the country's Foreign Affairs Minister announced at the gathering of the International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) Governing Council over the weekend.

Minister Trinidad Jiménez García-Herrera said how the the Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Facility Trust Fund will receive a €285.5 million loan from the Government of Spain together with a grant of €14.5 million over the course of this year and next. The loan will cover a 45 year period and will include a five year period of grace, with funding to be aligned with the policies and practices of IFAD.

"Spain's contribution will ensure immediate and reliable resources that will enhance IFAD's ability to reduce rural poverty and create income opportunities for smallholder farmers," said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD. The Trust Fund will provide additional resources especially for those countries in which there is demand in excess of available IFAD funding and where there is an urgent need for investment in the areas of agriculture and food security.

The financial arrangement between IFAD and Spain will be part of a more comprehensive strategic partnership framework and complements the six-year Partnership Agreement signed in November 2007.

Spanish development cooperation has undergone a number of reforms recently. The country, which has long been a supporter of development in Latin America, expanded its relief efforts to other countries and has increased development funding in an unprecedented manner. Spain's relief development plan for 2009-2012 specifically calls for the establishment of strategic agreements with multilateral institutions across a variety of sectors.

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