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Ukraine becomes IFAD's 178th member country

15 febbraio 2023 | 18.41
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Ukraine is set to become the 178th country to join the International Fund for Agricultural Development after the UN agency's Governing Council endorsed Ukraine’s membership, IFAD said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We are delighted to welcome Ukraine as our newest member. Ukraine’s membership is strongly aligned with IFAD’s mission to ensure that all rural people, particularly small-scale farmers, are included and empowered,” said Alvaro Lario, President of IFAD.

Ukraine's membership comes into effect upon the deposit of Ukraine’s instrument of accession with the UN Secretary General.

IFAD began discussing membership with Ukraine in 2016, and the Governing Council’s endorsement was among the last of the essential steps in the process, the statement noted.

“A founding member of the United Nations, Ukraine is known as one of the guarantors of global food security and a major agricultural producer with a lot to contribute as a member of IFAD,” said Yaroslav Melnyk, Ukraine's ambassador to Italy.

“Despite the war, Ukraine is still committed to contribute to the global food security to defuse the food crisis and save millions of people from hunger,” Melnyk added.

Since the start of the war with Russia almost a year ago, it is estimated that Ukraine's agricultural sector, one of the world’s top producers and exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, has suffered an estimated US$2.2 billion in damages, said the statement.

The ripple effects of the war have shaken global food systems and supply chains and food prices hit an all-time high in March 2022 and have stayed notably higher than in previous years, the statement added.

High fuel and fertilizer costs last year hampered Ukraine's food production and price hikes forced many small-scale farmers to choose between spending their limited financial resources on buying food or planting crops, according to the statement.

Small-scale food producers in poor countries have been among the hardest hit by the food crisis, which has been compounded by the lingering effects of the pandemic, global inflation, intensifying climate changes and other shocks, the statement underlined.

“IFAD was created to invest in, work with, empower, inspire and give voice to rural people. Over the decades, we have learned what works and what doesn’t,” said Lario.

“We have evidence that our people-centred approach to development delivers results – even in fragile, remote and marginal contexts,” he added.

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