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OPEC Fund loans to strengthen food security and improve health indicators in Sierra Leone
January 31, 2022: The OPEC Fund for International Development is extending two loans totaling US$35 million to the government of Sierra Leone to boost food security and livelihoods and improve health and living conditions for more than 1.4 million people in the West African country.
OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “These projects are well-aligned with the government of Sierra Leone’s National Development Plan (2019-2023) and New Direction Agenda, which set out six priority sectors that include agriculture and water supply and sanitation. Additionally, both projects will place a strong emphasis on promoting gender equality and participation of women and youth in the economy, a high priority for the OPEC Fund as inclusiveness is a key factor in alleviating poverty.“
A US$15 million OPEC Fund loan will support the ‘Agricultural Value Chain Development Project’ developed by the Sierra Leonean government in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development. An estimated 260,000 people are expected to benefit from activities to be carried out across 16 districts in western Sierra Leone that are highly vulnerable to recurring food crises.
The OPEC Fund’s contribution will specifically finance the construction and rehabilitation of climate-resilient infrastructure including 800 km of rural roads, 20 warehouses and water supply and sanitation facilities. The creation of multi-stakeholder platforms such as agribusiness centers and farmers’ organizations will support better integration and strengthening of skills across the value chain.
A second loan of US$20 million aims to improve socio-economic and environmental conditions and reduce waterborne diseases for around 1.4 million people in the capital Freetown under the ‘Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping Project.’ The OPEC Fund’s loan will finance the construction of water supply infrastructure including treatment plants, reservoirs, transmission and distributions networks as well as the installation of 38,000 metered water service connections. The project will also include flood mapping and tree planting to promote watershed regeneration.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. The OPEC Fund has been rated AA+/Outlook Stable by the rating agency Fitch and AA/Positive Outlook by S&P in 2021. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.