Washington DC, (BBN)- In recognition of work to give 200,000 small-scale farmers in Bangladesh access to vital financial services, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Wednesday received the Development Impact Honors award from the United States Department of the Treasury.

“The project for which IFAD is being recognized is a perfect example of how partnerships can be leveraged to maximize our overall development impact,” said John McIntire, Associate Vice-President of IFAD. “With critical support from IFAD Member States such as the United States, the Fund was able to partner with small farmers in Bangladesh to create a viable and sustainable microfinance model that enabled them to invest in and grow their own businesses. This award further reinforces our commitment to work in partnership to scale up our successes in support of rural transformation.”

Nigel Brett, IFAD Country Programme Manager, accepted the award on behalf of Fund’s President Kanayo F Nwanze. It was presented at the U.S. Treasury Department and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew delivered opening remarks at the ceremony in Washington DC.

Over the project’s lifetime, the Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers Project (MFMSFP) assisted more than 200,000 producers to become active microfinance clients.

The majority of them are women who were previously excluded from microfinance coverage in Bangladesh. Today, innovative financing and agricultural technologies tested by the project have been made available to more than 800,000 small farmers across the country.

“We could not have done this without effective partnerships on the ground and especially without the farmers themselves, who were willing to try something new in order to improve their lives and those of others in their community,” said Golam Touhid, Project Coordinator of Palli Karma Sahayek Foundation (PKSF), the national implementing agency that contributed to the project’s success.

This is the second year in a row that IFAD has won this prestigious award from the U.S. Treasury Department to recognize exceptional development projects.
IFAD has been working in Bangladesh for more than 30 years and has financed 29 projects for a total value of US$1.6 billion of which IFAD has contributed US$633.9 million.

BBN/SSR/AD-24July14-3:09 am (BST)