Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
Godesberger Allee 119 | 53175 Bonn | Germany
phone: +49 228 249 341 65
fax: +49 228 249 342 15
“The problem today is that no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough to feed the family…” First-hand accounts of men, women and young people give insights into what it is like to live in today’s changing reality of rural poverty. Each chapter of IFAD’s new Rural Poverty Report starts with a brief biography of two narrators from different countries around the world, highlighting aspects of their own lives that reflect the content of that chapter. The report calls for robust action to address the challenges of rural poverty, while also feeding a growing world population in a context of increasing environmental scarcities and climate change. In order not to perpetuate the marginalization of rural economies, rural women, men and youth need to be enabled to participate in economic growth, and develop ways for them to better deal with risk. Rural areas must turn from backwaters into places where the youth of today will want to live and will be able to fulfil their aspirations.
Acknowledging that the world changed dramatically since IFAD published its last Rural Poverty Report in 2001, the new publication highlights four necessities to promote rural economic growth and reducing rural poverty:
Since the last Rural Poverty Report was published by IFAD in 2001, there has been progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. But 1.4 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty — and more than 70 percent of them are living in rural areas of developing countries, while the latest measurements show that 925 million of them are undernourished.
Young people and children make up the single largest group among poor rural people, and the Report emphasizes the importance of creating new and better opportunities for them — in particular, with a focus on expanding educational opportunities that specifically address the skills young people will need to succeed in the rural context.
The key global challenge underlying this report is that to feed the nine billion people who will inhabit the Earth by 2050, food production will have to be raised 70 percent and agricultural output in developing countries will have to double. Addressing this challenge will require that smallholder agriculture play a much more effective role in these countries, that rural areas make the most of opportunities for non-farm employment growth, and that greater and more effective efforts are made to address the concerns of poor rural people as food buyers.
Through extensive research by a team of international, regional and national experts in the field of poverty reduction — as well as through case studies and interviews with poor rural people themselves – the report provides unique insights into rural poverty around the world and how the livelihoods of the rural poor are changing. It explores the challenges that make it so difficult for rural people to overcome poverty, and identifies opportunities and the way forward to greater prosperity. And it highlights policies and actions that governments and development practitioners can take to support the efforts of rural people to overcome poverty.