Dinesh Sharma, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and India’s Governor to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Rome was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of IFAD for a period of two years in its 39th Session held in Rome,Italy on 17th and 18th February, 2016. Speaking on the occasion, the Italian President Sergio Mattarella said that hunger and poverty are insidious, and are at the root of conflict and instability and are the link in chain that we need to break first to deal with emergencies and humanitarian disasters.
IFAD was set-up in 1977 as the 13th Specialised Agency of the United Nations and works towards removing poverty and hunger in rural areas all over the world. India is a founder member of IFAD and a key contributor among the member countries.
IFAD is managed by the two main governing bodies i.e. the Governing Council and the Executive Board. The Governing Council is the highest decision making body and consists of 176 member countries.
The aforesaid Governing Council Session was marked by special focus on inclusive growth and on the investments required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in the realm of eradicating poverty and hunger. India emphasised that economic growth must be inclusive and participatory; and should result in an enhanced access to opportunities to all. India further added that access to formal finance at an affordable cost and in a transparent manner, would be crucial for a meaningful financial inclusion. The Indian Delegation also apprised the gathering about the steps taken by the Government of India to promote financial Inclusion through the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)’ and ‘Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)’.