IFAD governing council elects Alvaro Lario as new President

The governing council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has appointed Spain’s Alvaro Lario, its top finance executive, its new President.

Lario, who would become IFAD 7th president, will lead the UN agency at a crucial time when global food prices are surging, induced by the Ukraine war, climate change, and the pandemic, with the World’s poorest countries hardest hit.

Lario, the current vice president for financial operations and chief financial officer at IFAD since 2018, has pledged to double the agency’s impact on poor communities by 2030.

“We have the institutions to tackle poverty, we have the know-how to reduce inequality, what we need is to mobilise the resources and join forces ….,” he said to delegates at IFAD’s Rome-based headquarter.

He called for a joint response to climate change, protecting natural resources and creating equality for women and men to leverage opportunities.

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He committed to scaling investments in climate resilience. “Climate-smart agriculture will become an increasingly important force to break the cycle of poverty, inequality, conflict and forced migration.”

He emphasized the need while women, girls, and youth must have equitable access to economic resources.

Lario also stressed that it would not be possible to achieve the SDGs without harnessing the power of women and the energy of youths.

He promised to connect IFAD to the huge amount of global savings from impact investors and pension funds to tackle poverty in rural communities while urging the UN agency to use its AAA+ rating to mobilise more funds.

Under Lario’s stewardship as the head of finance, IFAD became the first specialized UN agency other than the World Bank Group to enter capital markets, following the completion of its credit rating process in 2021, which resulted in an AA+ rating from the Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

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