Dear Project Managers, Regional Grants Managers, Regional Partners and colleagues,

In a few days we all converge on Thailand for the annual Portfolio Performance Management Workshop, and I really look forward to working with you there, once again.

We will now, however, meet in the midst of an acute financial and contagious economic crisis, a lurking food price crisis, continued challenges in adapting to climate change, a need for accelerated poverty reduction as well as enhanced rural and agricultural productivity growth. Also, 2015, the MDG targets year, is only a few years away from us. This makes the need for us to be more relevant, efficient and effective all the more pressing. The workshop will help us to continue enhancing our collective performance.

We will also meet just two weeks after IFAD completed its Eight Replenishment negotiations; and we will be able to celebrate that IFAD will have significantly more resources to help you in reducing more rural poverty, better, between 2010 and 2012.

I am excited to meet you soon and look forward to working with you in the next few days.

All the best and above all travel safely.

Kindest greetings.

Thomas Elhaut
Director, Asia and Pacific