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OPEC Fund approves US$243m for development operations, actively responding to changing needs of partner countries
Vienna, Austria, June 25, 2020. The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has approved US$243 million in new funding to support developing countries across the globe. The organization also reported that it is already helping developing countries to mitigate, contain and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new funding is outlined in the table below and was approved by the OPEC Fund’s Governing Board during its 172nd Session, held virtually. It comprises public and private sector finance related to development operations in the education, infrastructure and water and sanitation sectors, as well as support for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
“Our development finance supports operations in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across Africa, Asia and Latin America,” said OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa. “We are working hard to address COVID-19-related development issues, while continuing to support other urgent needs in our partner countries. The Sustainable Development Goals are deeply interconnected and the pandemic means even more pressure on resources for all areas of social, environmental and economic progress.”
“The OPEC Fund’s new strategy, backed by our member countries, has enabled us to be more agile and responsive to complex and fast-changing development needs,” Dr Alkhalifa continued. “Now is the time for development institutions like ours to demonstrate how we can help bridge the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ by moving smart and fast, and working together to deliver resources to the people most in need.”
In addition to the new funding, the OPEC Fund has in recent weeks approved US$10 million to support Guatemala’s response plan to COVID-19 as well as US$20 million to help the Maldives combat the pandemic. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the organization has dedicated US$1 billion to fund COVID-19 impact and recovery efforts in developing countries.
The new public sector loans approved by the OPEC Fund, amounting to US$163 million, will support the following projects:
Burkina Faso: US$23m Dori and Fada N’Gourma Universities Expansion
To meet the country’s growing need for a qualified workforce and provide a better academic environment by building and equipping a new university campus and dormitories, among other things.
China: US$30m Hubei Vocational Education
To provide quality education through the expansion and renovation of the Xianning Vocational and Technical College, benefiting 15,500 students per year, as well as 29,000 professionals and skilled laborers.
Papua New Guinea: US$50m Sustainable Highlands Highway Investment Program (Tranche 2)
To construct / rehabilitate 71 bridges along the national Highlands Highway connecting landlocked mountainous provinces to the coastal province of Morobe and the Lae maritime port, thereby enhancing trade and promoting economic development. The project will benefit about 3 million people in the region.
Senegal: US$20m Water Valorisation for Value Chains Development Project
To construct agricultural production and marketing infrastructure (including rural roads) and to improve natural resources management and environmental monitoring, benefiting 300,000 people (especially women and youth).
Sierra Leone: US$20m Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping
To finance the construction of water infrastructure, improving living conditions and reducing waterborne illness for around 1.4 million people.
Uganda: US$20m Third Line of Credit to Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL)
To support small- and medium-sized enterprises operating in Uganda’s key growth sectors.
Under the OPEC Fund’s private sector operations, the Governing Board approved a total of US$80 million. US$30 million will support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Paraguay via a financial institution as those SMEs address business interruptions and other challenges related to COVID-19. US$50 million will be extended to a financial institution for on-lending to infrastructure projects in eligible African countries.
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.