Mohand Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of UAE Mission in Rome, attended the meeting on behalf of UAE Ambassador to Italy Saqr Nasser Al Raisi and Permanent Representative to UN Organisations in Rome.
This year’s theme for the event held annually was "From fragility to long-term resilience: investing in sustainable rural economies." Globally, increasing numbers of people are living in fragile situations. The incidence of violent conflict is at an all-time high, which is multiplying the numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees.
During her keynote address, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, praised IFAD for its inclusive "model of mutual help and partnership," which distinguished it from other organisations and called for development partners to be "more generous in order to eliminate poverty and hunger."
IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo pledged to strengthen the Fund’s role as a catalyst for attracting development financing to make more resources available for rural transformation and announced the mainstreaming of nutrition, gender equality, climate and youth into all areas of programmes and projects.
"Fragility creates hunger, poverty and migration," Houngbo told the audience of development leaders and IFAD Governors. "But hunger and poverty can also lead to conflict and instability."
"We must be ambitious, but we also need to be mindful of fragile situations," Houngbo said, adding that fragility can "unravel" decades of development. "IFAD has an essential role to play here. Sustainable and inclusive investment in rural development will build people’s resilience over the long term and prepare them to deal with these fragile situations."
According to the OECD, in 2016 an estimated 1.6 billion people were living in fragile situations - 480 million of them in extreme poverty. Fragile situations are generally characterised by instability, conflicts, the lack of appropriate governance, weak institutions and the inability to bounce back from adverse climate and economic shocks.