Karim Hussein: I would say that we are very concerned to see the inter-linkages between rural development and urbanisation. But to look at how you can foster balanced processes of development, which include rural people and rural areas in those rural-urban transformations that are happening. We know that urbanisation is happening all over parts of the world, more rapidly in certain parts than other parts. And this has impacts on rural areas and rural development processes - it has impacts on food systems, on labour, on migration, on all sorts of dimensions of rural development, as well urban development. And there is a degree of inter-connectedness between rural and urban areas, which is becoming more and more manifest, if you like.
Now, what’s important for us as we focus on rural development, is to understand the implications of these implications for rural people and the opportunities they may provide. And also the difficulties the may produces. And we’ve looked at this in various ways. IFAD produced in 2014 a policy brief on the Post-2015 Development Agenda that was focused on the rural-urban issue, and how we might leverage rural-urban linkages for more inclusive rural development. So, this is one area.
Then there’s a broader policy-level debate this year leading up to a major conference next, organised by UN-Habitat – Habitat 3 – it’s the third international conference organised by UN-Habitat. That will have a strong focus on rural-urban linkages and how to ensure that rural-urban linkages work best for urban development and rural development. Our engagement in this area is important in order to highlight the need for a balanced approach to urban and rural development; the need to foster transformations in urban-rural linkages that improve food security, that increase the incomes and the opportunities available to rural people as well as urban-based populations.