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- COVID-19: A fast and flexible response
COVID-19: A fast and flexible response
Bilateral and multilateral action from the OPEC Fund in the face of an unprecedented global challenge
As the COVID-19 pandemic has gathered pace, development actors across the world have worked hard to keep up. The OPEC Fund has joined global efforts to address the social, environmental and economic challenges the world is now facing, working as a member of the Arab Coordination Group and with multilateral development banks, as well as with specialized agencies of the United Nations and the World Bank Group.
As OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa says: “This is the time for the development community to come together to meet the urgent needs of developing countries. We need to be flexible and responsive to quickly changing circumstances and make sure assistance reaches those who need it most, and fast.”
Here is a roundup of some of our action to date:
- The OPEC Fund has approved a US$10 million public sector loan to support Guatemala’s COVID-19 emergency response and public health strategy. We have also approved emergency aid grants to support COVID-19-related World Health Organization (WHO) efforts in Latin America. The Guatemala loan will enable the Central American country to strengthen case detection, community health worker training, emergency care infrastructure and help with other essential COVID-19-related activities. The World Bank and the Guatemalan government are also supporting the project.
- OPEC Fund grants totaling US$1,000,000 were also channeled through the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the purchase and distribution of much needed consumables and equipment related to the health crisis in Ecuador and Venezuela.
- US$20 million will support the government of the Maldives’ Economic Recovery Plan that includes a package of relief measures aimed at mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, especially in light of the anticipated downturn in tourism.
- Under the OPEC Fund’s private sector operations, US$30 million was approved to 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.
- The OPEC Fund approved an emergency assistance grant of US$500,000 to be supplied through WHO in support of COVID-19 efforts in Iran.
- The OPEC Fund approved US$75 million of new funding for developing countries. A US$15 million OPEC Fund public sector loan to Rwanda will support businesses affected by COVID-19. The OPEC Fund also approved US$60 million under its Private Sector and Trade Finance Facility to support SMEs in Asia and Latin America as they respond to the impact of COVID-19. One of the loans will also strengthen agricultural supply chains - which have been especially hard hit by the pandemic - in African countries.
- Three loans totaling US$45 million approved by the OPEC Fund to support COVID-19 response efforts in Belarus, Belize and El Salvador.
- COVID-19 response efforts in Bangladesh, Benin, Dominica and Guyana received support via four loans totaling US$115 million.
The OPEC Fund has dedicated US$1 billion to fund COVID-19 impact and recovery efforts in developing countries to be deployed in the form of OPEC Fund public, private and trade finance loans. Also, as part of the Arab Coordination Group, we have committed to jointly allocate US$10 billion to help developing countries mitigate, contain and recover from the destabilizing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.