Rome, 7 July 2022: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today appointed its top finance executive, Alvaro Lario, to be its next president, choosing a champion of private sector investments to lead the UN agency into battle against a global food security crisis triggered by war in Ukraine, climate change and the economic shock of COVID-19.
Lario, IFAD’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and an Associate Vice-President for financial operations since 2018, pledged to double IFAD’s impact on rural poor communities by 2030.
“We have the institutions to tackle poverty, we have the know-how to reduce inequality, what we need is to mobilise resources and join forces,” he told delegates from 177 member states attending the election held at IFAD’s Rome-based headquarters.
“We know that ODA (Official Development Assistance) and ODA of agriculture will not be enough. Due to the war in Ukraine small-scale producers globally are suffering the current disruptions of food systems. This is one additional shock on top of the climate disasters and unequal recovery from COVID-19, and poor communities are disproportionally affected,” he added.
Lario committed to scale-up investments in climate resilience and climate-smart agriculture. “Climate-smart agriculture and climate adaptation will become increasingly important to break the cycle of poverty, inequality, conflict and forced migration. IFAD needs to act urgently and partner with climate liked-minded institutions to support small scale producers and poor rural communities adapt to climate shocks,” said Lario.
Lario also stressed that “it will not be possible to reach the SDGs without harnessing the power of women and the energy of the youth.” He promised to prioritize programmes that put women at the centre.
Lario will take up the IFAD helm amid mounting challenges in agriculture and notably for smallholders who are both key to global food security and extremely vulnerable to shocks. Rising global food, energy and fertilizer prices linked to the war in Ukraine now threaten to trigger a global food crisis and push millions more rural people into hunger and poverty.
Lario will take office on 1 October and serve a four-year term. He succeeds Gilbert Houngbo who has led the organisation since 2017.
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Press release No.: IFAD/41/2022
IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency. Based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub – IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided more than US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to fund projects in developing countries. Last year, IFAD-supported projects reached an estimated 130 million people. A wide range of photographs of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from its Image Bank.
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