The India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Fund Board of Directors met virtually on 5 September, and welcomed the formulation of a new one million dollar project for Mali focused on Climate Change Resilient Community Farms and Women’s Empowerment in the Irrigated Zone of Banguineda.
The Board also approved detailed project documents outlining the design of a Resilient Multifunctional Water Supply System for Machubo Administrative Post, in Marracauene District in Mozambique, and the redesign of a project for the Rehabilitation of a High School Teachers’ Training Center in Palau.
With contributions and earned interest totalling US$49 million, the IBSA Fund is seen as a beacon of Southern solidarity and cooperation, built on the shared identity and diversity among three democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural countries engaging in inter-regional coordination with the goal to bring about more representative global institutions, advanced through dialogue, consensus, and innovative Southern mechanisms.
“In times of multiple crises and setbacks in SDG achievement, it is more important than ever that the IBSA Fund keeps enacting its unique role in both practicing South-South cooperation and inspiring revitalized international cooperation for sustainable development. The bottom line is that the projects its funds and the results those projects yield improve the lives of beneficiaries on the ground. And in so doing, they help bridge the SDG gaps in countries behind or furthest behind in such foundational areas as poverty and hunger alleviation, education, health, women’s empowerment and climate.” H.E. Mr. Norberto Moretti, Ambassador Deputy Permanent Representation of Brazil to the United Nations and Chair of the IBSA Fund Board
“At a time of rapid changes in geopolitical realities, representing both ominous and promising times for the Global South, the IBSA grouping is exercising great leadership,” said Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, which manages the Fund and serves as its secretariat. “The IBSA Fund has at times, played an important role in helping to shape IBSA’s collective thinking: on development cooperation, on the systems and processes of UN entities, on sustainable approaches to transformational changes, and on sovereign pathways to a better future for those most behind.”
Mr. Marthinus Christoffel Johannes Van Schalkwyk, Ambassador Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, celebrated the IBSA Fund and its model, notably its accomplishments to date and progress within its ongoing project portfolio. “Although it is not among the largest trust funds, the IBSA Fund gives true meaning to South-South cooperation” he explained.
“India is a strong advocate of South-South cooperation that is people-centric, demand-driven and directly benefits communities that are the most vulnerable. It is satisfying to see that the IBSA Fund continues to strengthen this spirit” stated H.E. Mrs. Yojna Patel, Ambassador Deputy Permanent of India to the United Nations.
Thanks to these approvals, in Mali, the establishment of two agribusiness centres, as well as food processing and conservation equipment, solar electricity, and pumped water, will strengthen the resilience of more than 7,000 women and youth agro-producers against climate change impacts.
In Mozambique, the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, the Government of Marracuene District, and UNDP will partner to expand access to safe water for more than 8,000 people in the Muchabo Administrative Post. Using a combination of solar and manual systems, the project seeks to improve agricultural production and better water management on 700ha of land, and includes the rehabilitation of school toilets in the region’s second largest school district.
In Palau, the IBSA-funded project, a partnership between the Ministry of Education, the Bureau of Public Works and the International Organization for Migration, will rehabilitate the High School Teacher’s Training Center which will then provide year-round capacity building training for 230 teachers, further benefitting their 2,200 students.
The Board also discussed IBSA approaches to South-South mainstreaming and integration at project level and reviewed progress and challenges across the portfolio of active projects in Angola, Benin, Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Fiji, The Gambia, Lesotho, Mali, Niger, Senegal, South Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
The Chair summarized the essence of the fund and its symbolism asserting: “The IBSA Fund itself, upheld by three vibrant and thriving multiethnic democracies of the developing world, sheds a much-needed gleam of hope on the prospects for global solidarity and partnerships for development at a time when these are sorely needed.”