International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

South-South and Triangular Cooperation Featured Partner

About IFAD

Three quarters of the poorest people in the world live in the rural areas of developing countries. Most of them depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Climate change, conflicts and a growing number of global, interconnected challenges have the potential to push millions more vulnerable people into extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, the UN’s food and agriculture hub. It is the only multilateral development institution that focuses exclusively on transforming rural economies and food systems. It works in remote regions of developing countries and fragile situations, where few aid agencies or international financial institutions venture.

The Fund invests in rural people, empowering them to increase their food security, improve the nutrition of their families and increase their incomes. IFAD helps them build resilience, expand their businesses, and take charge of their own development. Since 1978, IFAD has provided US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans, reaching an estimated 512 million people.

About IFAD

As an international financial institution, IFAD partners with its Member States to develop effective strategies, investment programmes and projects to address the core development challenges faced by rural communities. This mission is also enriched through a variety of non-lending activities, including fostering partnerships, managing knowledge, and engaging in policy discussions.

A significant element in this regard is South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC), a pivotal non-lending approach designed to facilitate cooperation among developing countries across political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, and technical areas. IFAD promotes SSTC as an additional development instrument to further its mandate, complementing the organization’s traditional modalities of intervention by mobilising additional resources including expertise, financial and technical contributions from a diversity of stakeholders.

SSTC is as a key mechanism for delivering demand-driven, relevant, targeted and cost-effective development solutions and other resources to beneficiaries and partners across the globe. IFAD’s commitment to SSTC is anchored in its Strategic Framework 2016-2025 and embedded in IFAD’s holistic approach to sustainable and inclusive rural transformation. The Strategic Framework notes that “South-South and Triangular Cooperation is rapidly growing and becoming increasingly important for promoting knowledge-sharing and investments among developing countries”.

IFAD’s approach to SSTC has evolved over the years from its initial focus on technical and advisory functions at regional and country levels to a more comprehensive corporate agenda. In December 2021, IFAD adopted a corporate strategy on SSTC, i.e. IFAD South-South and Triangular Cooperation Strategy 2022-2027. This new strategy aims to further mainstream and institutionalize SSTC in the Fund’s country programmes and contribute to doubling and deepening IFAD’s impact by pursuing two main objectives: (i) systematically identify and disseminate knowledge and innovations at the country programme and project level; (ii) support enhanced policy engagement aimed at enhancing rural poor people’s productive capacity, market access and resilience.

About IFAD

Furthermore, to enhance the effectiveness of SSTC mainstreaming at the decentralized level, IFAD, in 2018, established three SSTC and knowledge centres in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), Brazil (Brasilia), China (Beijing). The Centres have actively contributed to the establishment of new partnerships, identification and documentation of best practices, promotion of knowledge exchanges and generation of inputs for the design of new investments. IFAD consistently integrates SSTC into its country strategies and operations. Between 2021 and 2022, IFAD implemented over 40 projects with a clear SSTC component. Over the same period, 45 partnerships and more than USD 7 million were mobilised in support of south-south collaborations. Over 50 knowledge sharing & capacity-building events were held on themes such as sustainable agriculture, rural finance, water management, market access, etc.

China-IFAD South-South & Triangular Cooperation Facility

Established in 2018 with a supplementary contribution of US$ 10 million from the People’s Republic of China, the China-IFAD South-South and Triangular Facility is the first facility in IFAD dedicated to SSTC. The Facility aims to expedite rural poverty alleviation, enhance rural productivity, and drive rural transformation in developing countries. By providing grants, the Facility disseminates knowledge and experience, scales up solutions and innovations, nurtures partnerships and business opportunities across agricultural value chains, and promotes dialogues among stakeholders. Leveraging knowledge from China and other countries in the Global South, the Facility has already shared proven solutions and innovative agri-food practices among 38 Member States. As of 2023, the Facility has funded 17 projects, covering diverse thematic areas such as climate-smart agriculture, aquaculture, sustainable livestock management, resilient value-chains, and more. The projects have directly benefited around 30,000 smallholder farmers and count over 60,000 indirect beneficiaries.

IFAD South-South and Triangular Cooperation Knowledge Portal

Furthermore, to enhance the effectiveness of SSTC mainstreaming at the decentralized level, IFAD, in 2018, established three SSTC and knowledge centres in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), Brazil (Brasilia), China (Beijing). The Centres have actively contributed to the establishment of new partnerships, identification and documentation of best practices, promotion of knowledge exchanges and generation of inputs for the design of new investments. IFAD consistently integrates SSTC into its country strategies and operations. Between 2021 and 2022, IFAD implemented over 40 projects with a clear SSTC component. Over the same period, 45 partnerships and more than USD 7 million were mobilised in support of south-south collaborations. Over 50 knowledge sharing & capacity-building events were held on themes such as sustainable agriculture, rural finance, water management, market access, etc.

For more information on IFAD South-South and Triangular Cooperation agenda, you can visit the dedicated webpage or contact sstc@ifad.org.

Featured Publications

IFAD’s Newsletter on South-South & Triangular Cooperation – Issue 2

Agricultural Innovations Elevating Africa

China-IFAD South-South and Triangular Cooperation Facility Project Factsheets

Best Management Practices Guidelines for Small-Scale Tilapia Cage Aquaculture in Ghana and Nigeria