9 April 2009 Extremely poor people living off the land in El Salvador are set to receive a major cash injection of almost $15 million from the United Nations rural development arm to help finance projects aimed at modernizing agricultural production.
The $14.98 million loan from the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will back an initiative in the central regions of El Salvador which helps transform subsistence agricultural and off-farm activities into profitable, rural businesses and micro-enterprises.
The project targets inhabitants of poor communities, landless farmers and agricultural labourers, rural women and youth, as well as owners of small businesses in the Central American nation.
The funding is expected to directly benefit some 33,000 people in marginalized communities with indigenous traditions, who will have access to financial services and receive specialized technical and business assistance to help them access local and external markets.
It also supports land management in selected micro-watersheds and the rehabilitation environmentally deteriorated areas.
The total cost of the programme is over $20 million over 18 years and to date, IFAD has funded eight rural development programmes and projects in El Salvador for more than $108 million.
The latest loan agreement was signed yesterday at IFAD headquarters in Rome by the Ambassador of El Salvador to Italy José Roberto Andino Salazar and IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze.
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