Empowering rural poor people to improve their lives beyond the length of projects is at the heart of IFAD’s work.
Egypt is IFAD’s largest recipient of financial assistance in the Near East and North Africa and was one of the first countries in the world to receive financing from IFAD. IFAD has committed almost US$ 207 million in loans to Egypt since 1981 to support agricultural development and reduce rural poverty.

About 5 million poor rural people in rural areas of Egypt have already benefited from the collaboration between the government and IFAD. These funds have supported eight agricultural development projects, with a total value of about US$ 445 million.

Designed by IFAD in collaboration with rural people, the government and other partners, the projects address poverty through promotion of improved incomes and living conditions of small-scale farming communities. They also seek to influence public policy on land tenure and other land settlement systems.

IFAD’s first projects in Egypt were guided by a strategy developed in 1979 that supported two of the government’s priorities in the agricultural sector: increasing productivity in the “oldlands” (the Nile valley and delta and their desert fringes)and promoting the settlement of smallholders in the “newlands” (desert land located in the north-west coastal area of Egypt).

Four of these projects have been completed and four are ongoing.