The International Fund for Agricultural Development approved $204.39 million in loans and grants to support anti-poverty initiatives in nine developing countries, and agriculture and development research in the world's poorest regions.
The decision was made during the April 30 meeting of the organization's executive board, which gathers in Rome three times a year to approve IFAD's programs.
IFAD will provide $76 million in grants or loans for projects supporting agriculture and food security in five African countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Burundi and Ethiopia.
It will also support a rural microfinance project in Afghanistan, a post-earthquake rehabilitation initiative in China, and a series of agricultural interventions in India. The total amount of funding to be spent in Asia will be worth $95.46 million, while $13.80 million will be provided as a loan to a project backing rural economic organizations in the Dominican Republic.
Institutions within the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research will receive $3.7 million in grants.
"IFAD has been very supportive of work in this area. They are one of the big donors to us," Ruth Raymond, who heads Biodiversity International's public awareness unit, said ahead of the announcement. The Rome-based institution is among the 15 CGIAR-supported agricultural research centers.
IFAD assigned the remaining $5.5 million in grants to international organizations including the Economic Community of West African States, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development and MERCOSUR Confederation of Family Farmer Producer Organizations.