OFID approves US$580m for operations in developing countries



The OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, has approved more than US$580 million of new funding to benefit developing countries across the globe. The 167th Session of OFID’s Governing Board approved the funding at the organisation’s Vienna headquarters.

The public sector loans, amounting to $387 million, will support the following projects: West Havana Sanitation and Pluvial Drainage in Cuba with $25m, to reduce environmental pollution and improve health indicators and living conditions, benefiting an estimated 73,000 people; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, MSME, III in Egypt with $95m to help create around 33,000 job opportunities and boost self-employment through the extension of small loans to MSMEs and local banks, NGOs and microfinance institutions; the Eastern Corridor Development Programme (Phase I) in Ghana with $20m to construct a 40 km road and repair a 24 km stretch to improve domestic/regional trade and stimulate economic development for circa 230,000 people; and Upgrading of Konia-Voinjama Road with $25m to pave a 64 km road in northern Liberia, improving the transport of agricultural goods and increasing food security and incomes for around 43,000 people.

The loans will also support the Temane Transmission Project in Mozambique with a $36m to install a 563 km transmission system from Temane to the capital Maputo and upgrade/build sub-stations in southern Mozambique; Alsharqiya Expressway Tunnels in Oman with $130m to construct two expressway tunnels to improve connections between the north and eastern regions, enhance trade and provide efficient transport for around one million people; the Rwanda Sustainable Water Supply & Sanitation Programme – Phase II with a $20m to construct eight water supply systems to serve 14 districts. Access is expected to rise from 30 to nearly 100 percent – improving living standards for approximately 5.4 million people.

The loans will also provide support to Agricultural Development & Rural Entrepreneurship Programme – Phase II (PADAER II) in Senegal with $10m to construct infrastructure for circa 437,000 small producers to increase yield and create more jobs – with a focus on women and youth; the education sector in Sierra Leone with $20m by reconstructing and rehabilitating four public secondary schools, a teacher training college and a polytechnic to ease overcrowding and accommodate rising enrolments.

Also, Health Facilities Improvement (Supplementary Loan) in Suriname will get $6m to cover funding gaps related to a hospital in the capital Paramaribo and primary healthcare facilities across the country serving approximately 300,000 people/year.

US$157m was approved under OFID’s private sector, comprising: two facilities totalling $72m to strengthen the energy sector in Cote d’Ivoire; $50m to improve road transport in Kazakhstan; $25m to support an agricultural group’s investment programmes in developing countries (primarily in Africa); and $10m in support of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Turkmenistan.

Under OFID’s Trade Finance Facility, $25m was approved to support international trade activities in Armenia and $15m to improve international trade opportunities in Costa Rica.

OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC; including the United Arab Emirates.

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