UN AND UNITED STATES LAUNCH PLAN TAP EMIGRANTS’ RESOURCES TO BOOST
AGRICULTURE New York, May 17 2011 6:05PM The United Nations entity tasked
with supporting rural development and the United States State Department
today launched an <“http://www.ifad.org/media/press/2011/35.htm“>initiative
to help tap the resources of emigrant communities for investment in
agriculture in their countries of origin.
The Diaspora Investment in Agriculture initiative (DIA), unveiled today in
Washington by the US and the UN International Fund for Agriculture
Development (IFAD), will work with emigrants wishing to invest in
agricultural projects in their home communities, with a focus on
post-conflict countries and fragile States.
“Diaspora communities from developing nations save a total of $400 billion
every year. Many would like to support their home countries through
investment. Money is not the problem. Good opportunities and clear
mechanisms for making those investments are what is required,” said Kanayo
F. Nwanze, the President of IFAD.
“DIA will help identify opportunities and models for sustainable
investment,” Mr. Nwanze <“http://www.ifad.org/events/op/2011/dip.htm“>said
at the Global Diaspora Forum, hosted by US Secretary of State Hillary
“It will build the capacity of individual investors, diaspora organizations
and those implementing projects on the ground. And it will encourage lasting
partnerships that achieve financial returns for investors, while fostering
stability and opportunity,” said Mr. Nwanze.
With the support of the State Department and other international partners,
IFAD will work to involve migrant entrepreneurs, diaspora organizations and
key strategic entities to implement projects that stimulate the development
of the agricultural sector. In particular, the initiative will seek to
identify and co-finance viable ideas and models linking food security,
diaspora investment and agricultural value chains.
With more than 215 million people – or three per cent of the world’s
population – now living outside their home countries, diaspora communities
already play a vital economic role in many nations.
Currently they remit more than $325 billion a year to developing countries
and, in many cases, have become among the largest sources of cash and
investment for home countries, surpassing the total official development
assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI).
“Over the next five years, diasporas throughout the world will send home
more than 1.5 trillion dollars,” said Mr. Nwanze. “If together we can
encourage the diaspora to invest a fraction of this money in rural
agriculture, it will contribute significantly to creating jobs, enhancing
food security and fostering stability in countries emerging from strife,” he