The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved US$318 million of new funding to benefit developing countries across the globe.
Speaking at the 169th Session of OFID’s Governing Board, which met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, OFID Director-General
Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “The newly approved funding underscores OFID’s continuing commitment to supporting sustainable development in low-income countries across the globe.
We are financing operations in sectors that have been prioritized by the recipient countries themselves, in line with the nature of our mandate.”
During the session, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan re-affirmed Saudi Arabia’s support for OFID. Al-Jadaan said: “Referring to our achievements so far, I emphasize that these are achievements that we should continue to build on through more hard and tireless work.”
He added that OFID must remain forward looking and be guided by sound strategic vision in order to face future challenges and embrace all opportunities in the development arena. “I believe that the strategic framework discussed and approved at the 40th session of the Ministerial Council last July is an important step forward in the right direction,” continued Al-Jadaan.
The Governing Board also discussed the implementation plans of OFID’s new Strategic Framework – the general principles of which were approved at OFID’s Ministerial Council in July – and the organization’s vision to be an even more relevant, agile and efficient development finance institution that delivers maximum development impact to its partners. Within this context, OFID’s 2020 Work Program was also reviewed.
The approved public sector loans, amounting to US$203 million, will support the following projects:
Nalua-Baherchar Bridge. To construct a bridge spanning the Pandab-Paira River and access roads to improve travel between the southwest region and the capital Dhaka. This will ultimately provide easier and less expensive travel for nearly 1.6 million people, and improve access to income-generating opportunities, markets and services.
Agricultural Development & Market Access Support Project (PADAAM). To boost the food security, nutrition and incomes of smallholder farmers and their families, especially women and youth, in seven administrative regions in the south. The project is expected to benefit around 255,000 people.
Agricultural Value Chain Support Project (PAPFA). To enhance food security in regions severely affected by recurrent food crises in the southern and western parts of the country. The project will provide farmers with inputs, equipment and technical assistance, develop cropland and upgrade rural infrastructure, improving living conditions for around 342,000 people.
Jamshoro Power. To help alleviate energy shortages and diversify the energy mix in Pakistan’s Sindh Province (populated by nearly 48 million people) through the construction of two 600 MW-capacity power plants. This will help meet demand from industry and manufacturing sectors and improve energy delivery to social infrastructure, such as schools and health centers.
Kazilambwa – Chagu Road Upgrading. Works on this 36 km stretch will help ease transport constraints in the Tabora and Kigoma regions in the central and western parts of the country. This will help boost agricultural and tourism activities, and facilitate trade with neighbouring Burundi and DR Congo.
Under OFID’s private sector operations, US$45 million was approved: US$25 million to help improve the provision
of healthcare in Egypt and Morocco, and US$20 million to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
and infrastructure projects in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
Under OFID’s trade finance operations, US$70 million was approved to support international trade activities in
Georgia (US$50 million) and the international trade finance requirements of local enterprises – with a focus on
SMEs – in Uzbekistan (US$20 million).