OPEC fund approves $255mln for global development operations

The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has approved US$255 million for development operations across the world at the organization’s 174th Session of the Governing Board, held virtually.

OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said that the funding, approved across three of the OPEC Fund’s financing windows (public, private and trade finance), demonstrates the organization’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and its continued determination to support partner countries amid a challenging global environment.

“The OPEC Fund’s new strategy, launched in 2019 and fully backed by our member countries, has enabled us to be more agile and responsive to complex and fast-changing development needs,” Dr. Alkhalifa said, referring to the organization’s Strategic Framework, which focuses on financial sustainability and improving the development impact of the OPEC Fund’s financing.

Dr. Alkhalifa continued: “Now is the time for development institutions like ours to demonstrate togetherness and show how we can help bridge the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. The OPEC Fund is moving smart and fast, and working in partnership to deliver resources to the people most in need.”

The new financing will support development operations in line with the projects below:

The Gambia: US$20 million for the Widening of Bertil-Harding Highway Project

The project will improve existing road capacity, enhance safety and reduce travel times. It will also improve access to markets, social and health services and foster employment opportunities. The project is in line with the government’s National Development Plan and is expected to directly benefit more than 500,000 people.

Madagascar: US$15 million for the Integrated Growth Poles’ Energy Access Enhancement Project, Phase II

The project will contribute to the reduction of the persistent electricity deficit in project areas, upgrade urban and rural feeder roads to improve market access and support key value chains, and empower local communities to develop their agriculture and tourism-related skills.

Rwanda: US$20 million for the Rwanda Universal Energy Access Project

The project includes the provision of civil works, materials and equipment and will increase the access rate to electricity, promoting inclusive growth and poverty reduction. More than 55,000 households will benefit.

Sierra Leone: US$15 million for the Agricultural Value Chain Development Project

The project will improve the livelihoods, food security and climate change resilience of rural farming households in Sierra Leone. Supporting value chains from seed to marketing, the project will span 16 districts vulnerable to recurring food crises. More than 40,000 household are expected to benefit.

Uzbekistan: US$75 million for the Sustainable Rural Development Project

The project supports the government of Uzbekistan’s efforts to reduce poverty by providing access to basic infrastructure and social services for more than 700,000 people. Local governance processes and community engagement will be strengthened to promote sustainable management.

Three Private Sector and Trade Finance operations were also approved: US$30 million will support a renewable energy project in Egypt; US$50 million will support international trade to and from West Africa; and US$30 million will finance small and medium size enterprises in Uzbekistan.

Credit : OPEC

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