Bangladesh has signed a loan agreement with IFAD on 8 May 2003. The signing ceremony took place in the IFAD Headquarters in Rome. H.E. Mr. Mohammad Ziauddin, Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh and H. E. Mr. Lennart Bäge, President of IFAD signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and on behalf of IFAD, respectively.
The project under this agreement is a Micro Finance and Technical Support Project with a budget of US$ 20 million, of which, IFAD’s contribution is US$ 16.3 million. The objective of the project is to improve livelihoods and food security of poor and ultra-poor households, and the empowerment of women. In order to achieve this objective, the project aims at adopting sustainable income generating activities and access to financial services for the poor and improving the economic status of women. It will focus on livestock, an enterprise particularly appropriate for the rural poor who have little land, and for women.
The project involves a broader NGO support services for the rural poor. IFAD will provide additional support to enable the poorest households to utilize micro-credit using a proven model of micro-finance development. Its targeted population is 276,000 poor and very poor households. As it emphasizes on livestock, the project will have a particular impact on women, since poultry is one of the major economic activities where, traditionally, women have complete control over decisions and the use of the resulting income. The project covers 13 districts, namely, Barisal, Bhola,, Pirojpur, Shariatpur, Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Moulvi Bazaar, Habiganj, Kishorganj and Brahmanbaria, Sylhet and Jhalokati districts.