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- OPEC Fund and Sultanate of Oman launch partnership to drive ambitious development plans
OPEC Fund and Sultanate of Oman launch partnership to drive ambitious development plans
Vienna, Austria, June 10, 2020. The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) and the Sultanate of Oman have launched a new strategic partnership to help drive development in line with the country’s ambitions to become a major regional logistics hub.
The first joint project, the Alsharqiya Expressway Tunnels Project, is already underway to improve connectivity between the north and eastern regions of the country. The project is co-financed by a US$130 million OPEC Fund public sector loan and the Sultanate’s government.
The project aligns with the Sultanate of Oman’s plans to strengthen the transportation sector to reinforce its credentials as a regional logistics hub: the Alsharqiya Expressway Tunnels Project is just one in a series of new investments with this goal in mind and the OPEC Fund stands ready to provide further support.
As part of the project, two ‘twin-tube’ tunnels have been constructed with a combined length of around 4 km. The tunnels safely bypass a critical floodplain, a major town and an area prone to landslides. The ultimate objective is to provide better access to jobs, markets and public services.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “We are delighted to launch a major development partnership with the Sultanate of Oman. It is befitting to mark the beginning of our cooperation with such a landmark project that includes the first-ever tunnels in the country and provides safer travel for over one million people. We look forward to building our partnership and working on many more development projects together.”
The project aligns with a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, and SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth. In addition, agriculture and tourism, two key sources of income-generation in the region, will be strengthened.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund is the development finance institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a channel of aid to developing countries. The OPEC Fund works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. The OPEC Fund's work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs – such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. The OPEC Fund aims to encourage self-reliance and inspire hope for the future.