IFAD’s goal in Nepal is to empower poor rural women and men to achieve higher incomes and improved food security and it’s objectives, mandated to work with the poorest population in rural areas, are to: i) eliminate hunger and poverty; ii) enhance food security; iii) raise productivity and incomes; and iv) improve the quality of life.
Nepal became a member of the IFAD in 1978 and was among the first countries to benefit from the Fund. The main strategic thrusts of the IFAD financed projects in Nepal are poverty alleviation and improvement of household food and income security of the rural poor especially the rural women, the landless, the indigenous groups and small and marginal farmers from the disadvantaged areas of the country.
Integrated Rural Development Project (in Sagarmatha), effective from November 1979 with a loan amount of US $ 11.5 million was the starting point of economic co-operation between Nepal and IFAD. Since then, IFAD has financed altogether 15 projects of which 10 projects are completed and 5 projects are in ongoing phase. Since 1978, IFAD has provided a total of US$ 115.0 million in loans for 12 projects and has also provided technical assistance.
IFAD is active mainly in the hill and mountain areas of far and mid-western Nepal. Geographical coverage by ongoing operations is as follows:
Poorest population mainly the small farmers, the rural landless and indigenous people and across all groups, the rural poor women are the target group.
IFAD works with governments through low-interest loans and grants to develop and finance programmes and projects. The loans are on highly concessional terms, repayable over 40 years, including a grace period of ten years with a 0.75% service charge per annum. IFAD's lending priority is dominated by the need to increase food production and to improve the nutritional level of the poorest populations in the poorest food deficit areas.
IFAD tackles poverty not only as a lender, but also as an advocate for rural poor people. Its multilateral base provides a natural global platform to discuss important policy issues that influence the lives of rural poor people, as well as to draw attention to the centrality of rural development to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.