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IFAD Regional Director Reinforces Commitment to Rural Development During Pakistan Visit

Islamabad: Reehana Rifat Raza, the Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), recently visited Islamabad to strengthen the organization’s partnership with Pakistan and explore new avenues to combat rural poverty and hunger.

According to United Nations Pakistan, Raza’s visit included meetings with key government and United Nations officials, as well as development partners. Her discussions focused on enhancing collaborative efforts to advance rural development, reflecting on both the achievements and the ongoing challenges in implementing IFAD’s projects in Pakistan. Raza met with Kazim Niaz, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, praising the government’s $10 million commitment to IFAD’s upcoming funding cycle. Her dialogue with Ali Amin Gandapur, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, highlighted the expanding cooperation under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rural Economic Transformation Project, which aims to extend its outreach soon.

Raza’s discussions also covered the integration of climate-resilient strategies and agribusiness approaches to uplift smallholder farmers, emphasizing partnerships with the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Food Programme to promote the Food Systems Transition Pathway as a strategic element in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan. With a portfolio of $691 million in the country, IFAD remains a pivotal contributor to rural economic development, focusing on inclusivity and sustainable livelihoods for marginalized communities, including women, youth, and the ultra-poor.