With this election, a supporter of private sector investment was chosen to lead the UN agency in the fight against the global food security crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, climate change and the economic shock of COVID-19.
Alvario Lario, currently Associate Vice-President of IFAD's Financial Operations Department, was elected by IFAD's Governing Council to succeed IFAD President Houngbo on the 2nd ballot with 58.4% of the votes cast.
Lario, in his emotional acceptance speech, highlighted the empowerment of women and youth and climate “smart” and more resilient agricultural practices, with the aim of promoting food security and healthy nutrition.
He also emphasized his willingness to take up the reforms of President Houngbo, who made it clear in his last speech to the Governing Council that he saw IFAD “in good hands” with the election.
While the need for support is greater than ever, he said, innovation by IFAD is needed. This is the only way, he said, to ensure that the progress made in peace and economic and social development in recent decades is not rolled back in times of budgetary pressures.
Moreover, in this way IFAD's role as a “leading international institution focused on the poorest people” can be further strengthened.
Following a call for nominations, the IFAD Governing Council held a special meeting to appoint a new president.
The president-elect, Alvaro Lario, will take office on October 1, 2022, for a four-year term.
The new president will lead IFAD at a crucial time when COVID-19, climate change and conflict are driving up food and fuel prices. This could lead to a global food crisis that is likely to hit the world's poorest rural populations the hardest.
IFAD plays a critical role in strengthening the resilience of small-scale rural producers. The Fund's investments in climate adaptation and sustainable food systems help achieve as many of the Sustainable Development Goals as possible.