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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. It resolved that "an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries." One of the most important insights emerging from the conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production but structural problems relating to poverty, and to the fact that the majority of the developing world's poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.

Since 2008, IFAD has invested US$26.9 million in Tajikistan, thus mobilizing overall investments for a total of US$30.7 million. Financing for IFAD’s first project in the country, the Khatlon Livelihood Support project, was approved by the Executive Board in December 2008. The financing is in the form of a grant, under an agreement signed by the Government of Tajikistan and IFAD in January 2009. Because this is the first IFAD-supported operation in Tajikistan, the organization has made special efforts to ensure that the design builds on lessons and experiences from existing community development projects in the country. A second project, the Livestock and Pasture Development Project, was approved by the Executive Board in May 2011.

IFAD’s overarching objectives in the country are to improve the livelihoods of poor rural people by strengthening their organizations and enabling them to access productive technologies and resources. IFAD provides strategic support for improving natural resource management, implementing land reforms and strengthening local institutions and grass-roots organizations.

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