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The OPEC Fund commits US$200m to the global fight against COVID-19
Vienna, Austria, March 16, 2020. The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has announced a range of measures to support international efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak over the immediate and mid-term.
The organization will provide a total financial package amounting to US$200 million, which will be deployed via long-term loans, Private Sector and Trade Finance facility windows and grants. The OPEC Fund will also modify existing loan terms, where necessary, to ensure an appropriate level of concessionality.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “We have provided dedicated financing to partner countries to address emergency situations before, such as post-Tsunami assistance for several countries in Asia in 2007. To channel this funding, we will deploy resources bilaterally to impacted countries and regions, and we will also coordinate closely with the bilateral and multilateral agencies of our member countries, such as the Arab Coordination Group, as well as with the World Bank Group, regional development banks and specialized agencies of the United Nations.
“The OPEC Fund has also built robust partnerships with a number of specialized agencies working in situations of conflict and disaster,” Dr Alkhalifa continued. “The most recent comparable situation was the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, during which we extended assistance to those actors leading the international response. Our natural partner in health emergencies where immediate action is needed is the World Health Organization. The national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies throughout the world are also in an excellent position to engage with affected or vulnerable communities.
“We will ensure our assistance reaches the most vulnerable communities quickly and we stand ready to review our efforts as the situation develops,” Dr Alkhalifa added.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund is a development finance institution established by the member states of OPEC in 1976. 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, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. The OPEC Fund aims to encourage self-reliance and inspire hope for the future.