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- The OPEC Fund signs new development loan with Maldives, becomes largest international donor in water and sanitation sector
The OPEC Fund signs new development loan with Maldives, becomes largest international donor in water and sanitation sector
Maldives’ Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer and OPEC Fund Director-General conclude the signing of a US$50m loan agreement for the the Outer Islands Harbors, Water Supply and Sewerage Facilities Project.
Photo: Ministry of Finance @MoFmv.
Vienna, Austria, January 17, 2020. The Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa has signed a development loan in support of a major water supply and sewerage project during a high-level mission to Malé, Republic of Maldives.
The US$50 million loan was signed with the Maldives’ Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer and will fund the Outer Islands Harbors, Water Supply and Sewerage Facilities Project. The government of the Maldives is co-financing the project, which costs a total of US$62.25 million, and planned work includes building water supply networks and sewerage systems, as well as improving harbor infrastructure that will boost tourism and other economic opportunities. Around 20,000 people on 13 outer islands are expected to benefit. The harbor works will rehabilitate and upgrade priority infrastructure, better serving outer islands that have been economically marginalized despite their substantial potential for economic and social development.
During the past decade, the OPEC Fund has been active in providing finance to the water supply and sanitation sector in the Maldives, and is now the largest international donor in the sector. More than US$106 million – including US$32.5 million from the latest loan – is supporting water and sanitation projects in the country.
Speaking at the loan signing ceremony, Dr Alkhalifa said: “Our presence here today is evidence of the importance that the OPEC Fund attaches to its cooperation with the government of the Maldives, which continues to flourish. This project builds upon our long established framework of cooperation, which dates back to 1977. During this period, your government has embarked upon a remarkable economic journey, contributing to the prosperity of its people, and resulting in a strong transformation of this beautiful country. We are proud to be associated with this success.”
While in the South Asian country, Dr Alkhalifa met with the President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and discussed closer development collaboration. The OPEC Fund’s delegation also visited other development projects supported by the organization. These included the Velana International Airport Project – the largest infrastructure project in the Maldives, expected to accommodate 7.5 million passengers annually by 2025; and the Hithadhoo Regional Hospital Project, due to open soon, making it the only regional hospital in the south and the third largest in the country. The hospital will help improve the health of approximately 76,000 people.
The delegation also visited the Provision of Water Supply, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Project, which is expected to improve health standards and living conditions for more than 120,000 people on 49 islands. This builds on phase one of the project, also supported by the OPEC Fund, which improved living conditions for around 12,000 people on five islands.
To date, the OPEC Fund has approved 23 Public Sector loans to the Maldives totalling more than US$209 million. Supported projects include those in the transport, water and sanitation, agriculture, banking and financial services, telecommunications, health and education sectors. The Maldives has also benefited from the OPEC Fund’s Private Sector, Trade Finance and Grants financing.