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Satu Santala joins the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on December 1, 2021 as Associate Vice-President of External Relations and Governance

Give Food Producers Voice In Global Climate Fora

By Abdi Ali
Published December 1, 2021

Satu Santala joins the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on December 1, 2021 as Associate Vice-President of External Relations and GovernanceThough small-scale farmers produce one-third of global food and are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and erratic weather, they are too often excluded from global forums that impact their lives.

Satu Santala, who joins the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on December 1, 2021 as Associate Vice-President of External Relations and Governance, says these producers of food ‘are too often side-lined in global development processes’.

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“Food links everyone on the planet together,” Santala, who was previously the Director-General for Development Policy at Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says.

A Finnish national, Santala has extensive experience in international relations and development. She has held various positions at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and at Finland’s embassies in New Delhi (India) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). She was also Executive Director at the World Bank, where she represented Nordic and Baltic countries.

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“Throughout my career, I have focused on marginalised people. That’s part of my DNA and I feel that I am a development activist, even though I have been a civil servant all of my life,” says Santala.

In her new role at IFAD, Santala is responsible for communications, global engagement, partnerships, and resource mobilization. She also oversees the relations with the Fund’s 177 Member States.

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“IFAD has a very ambitious vision to double and deepen its impact,” says Santala. “In my role, I will do everything possible to further boost IFAD’s appeal as a critical partner for investing in rural people, so that IFAD can achieve this ambitious vision on behalf of the people it serves.”

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IFAD is the only global development organization that works exclusively on eradicating poverty and hunger, with a dedicated fund to help small-scale farmers adapt to climate change