The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) and the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a cooperation agreement to expand their partnership and boost co-financing of projects that enhance food security and build climate resilience, providing critical support to smallholder farmers who grow one-third of food worldwide.  

The long-standing cooperation between the institutions will be strengthened by creating additional synergies. Knowledge sharing and close coordination aim to increase the efficiency of co-financed projects. The agreement was signed in Vienna at the 2024 OPEC Fund Development Forum by OPEC Fund President Abdulhamid Alkhalifa and IFAD President Alvaro Lario.

OPEC Fund President Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “Food security and climate action are cross-cutting strategic themes for the OPEC Fund. We are committed to supporting a sustainable and just energy transition while ensuring vital food supplies worldwide. We will boost our long-standing partnership with IFAD by working faster and smarter to deliver our support where it is needed most.”

Alvaro Lario, President of IFAD said: “Small-scale food producers understand better than anyone the links between food, water, and energy. Helping them adapt to accelerating climate change requires collaboration between diverse partners. OPEC Fund Member States helped found IFAD at a similar moment of crisis and this new agreement presents an excellent opportunity to renew our commitment to those men and women who most provide us all with healthy and nutritious food.”

The OPEC Fund and IFAD have been working together since 1978. The OPEC Fund has been a main contributor to IFAD programs with US$1.03 billion provided to more than 120 projects to date. IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, investing in rural areas of developing countries.


About the OPEC Fund

The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed about US$27 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of more than US$200 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA+, Outlook Stable by S&P. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.

About IFAD

IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency. Based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub – IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided more than US$24 billion in grants and low-interest loans to fund projects in developing countries.

A wide range of photographs and broadcast-quality video content of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from our Image Bank.

Media contact: Alberto Trillo Barca |