Vienna, Austria, December 11, 2013. Meeting in its 145th Session, the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved financing over US$403m to boost socio-economic development in over 35 partner countries. Of the new commitments some US$306.04m went to support 14 public sector loans and seven grants. The bulk of the public sector funding will co-finance transportation, education, energy, poverty reduction, and water supply and sanitation projects. Under OFID’s private sector and trade finance programs, eight projects totalling US$97m were approved. These will help strengthen the industry sectors of various countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The approved public sector loans are as follows:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Corridor Vc Motorway. Subsection Klopče-Donja Gračanica. To construct a 6.3 km motorway, which will directly benefit some 143,000 people and facilitate local and regional trade in support of the country’s economic development. OFID’s contribution, consisting of two loans of US$48m and EUR24m (approx. US$34.20m), totals around US$82.20m.
Upgrading and Expansion of Abidjan International Airport Freight Terminal. To rehabilitate and expand the freight terminal of the airport with a view to raising service quality and improving safety and security. The project will also create new employment opportunities during and after the construction phase.
Tadjoura Port. To construct a new port in Tadjoura in the northern region, one of Djibouti’s poorest. Around 200,000 people will benefit from the project.
Basic and Secondary Education Schools. To enhance the quality of education by constructing three libraries, numerous laboratories and sanitation facilities and constructing/rehabilitating and furnishing some 220 classrooms, each accommodating around 45 pupils.
Competitiveness and Sustainable Development in the South-Western Border Region (“PRO-LENCA”). To improve income, employment opportunities, food security and general living conditions for over 45,000 poor rural families with a focus on social inclusion, gender and youth development.
India Sustainable Renewable Energy Development Program. To support the Government of India in developing cornerstone projects as well as institutional reforms in the renewable energy sector. The creation of renewable energy generation infrastructure will positively impact around 55,000 households.
Rongai Hospital. To construct and equip a new hospital and residential staff building in Rongai city. On completion, the project will improve the quality and accessibility of affordable healthcare services for some 150,000 people.
Emergency Food Security and Rural Development Program. To improve food security in Niger, with particular focus on the Maradi, Tahoua and Tillaberi regions, home to some 50 percent of the total population, including poor farming and herding families who have been highly-exposed to recurrent food and livestock crises.
Panama Bay and City Sanitation (Phase II). To improve sanitation conditions in the Panama Bay and City area and increase access to sanitation services in urban settlements discharging into the Rio Abajo, Matasnillo and Curundu streams, directly benefiting some 13,000 households.
Huye-Kitabi Road Rehabilitation. To rehabilitate and upgrade a 53 km road linking the capital, Kigali, to the West and South of the country. Nearly two million people will benefit from the improved road safety, reduced transportation costs and substantial time savings.
Community Roads. To rehabilitate 875 km and maintain 5,000 km of rural roads. The project will improve the accessibility of some 187 remote rural communities, create 2,000 jobs and provide training to approximately 3,700 rural dwellers.
Sewerage Infrastructure. To construct a new sewerage treatment plant, construct/rehabilitate six pumping stations, install sewerage pipelines, and rehabilitate existing networks in three of the most populated towns on Mahe, Seychelles’ largest island and home to some 14,000 people.
Third Poverty Reduction. To support rural households in obtaining access to enhanced socio-economic services and income generation activities. The project will lift some 2.1 million people out of poverty.
Social Fund for Development (Phase IV). To enhance the potential of the poor and vulnerable to generate income through increased access to economic infrastructure, social services and credit.
Seven grants totaling US$4.35m were also approved in support of the following projects/programs:
World Health Organization. US$600,000. To improve access to medical devices for cancer care in six countries in Africa and Asia that have a high cancer burden and low availability of medical equipment and services.
Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor. US$400,000. To increase access to improved water services for over 56,000 low-income inhabitants of the towns of Mukuru Sinai and Korogocho in Kenya.
International AIDS Society (IAS). US$350,000. To support the attendance of young scientists from developing countries at the 20th International AIDS Conference. A portion of the grant will also be used for a joint OFID/IAS workshop at OFID Headquarters, which will gather experts from OFID Member Countries and others to discuss “HIV in Conservative Majority Settings”.
Mahmoud Abbas Foundation. US$500,000. To enable 70 high-achieving students among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to enroll in Lebanese universities over the course of four academic years.
United Nations Development Program/Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People. US$800,000. To renovate and/ or expand maternal health facilities in the Gaza Strip. This will enable women from different parts of the Gaza Strip to access improved maternal health services.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). US$700,000. To improve energy efficiency through the development of a solar water heaters’ market in Yemen, including manufacturing and assembly to stimulate economic development.
Shell Foundation. US$1m. To improve access to efficient cooking stoves in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa and seven countries in Latin America and to manufacture these in the latter region, improving employment opportunities.
In addition to the public sector projects and grants approved at the meeting, three financing facilities totaling US$35m were approved through OFID’s private sector lending window. Two of these will help strengthen the key sectors of Micro Finance, SMEs and agribusiness in Azerbaijan and Kenya, while the third will support a regional financial institution in expanding its lending to SMEs in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania for their industrial and commercial operations.
Under OFID’s trade finance program, five financing facilities for a total of US$62m were approved. The facilities will help financial institutions in Armenia, Georgia, Honduras, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea (OFID’s first trade finance lending operation in that country) expand their services for on-lending to SMEs and local businesses and support the import and export of strategic commodities.
Since its inception, OFID has committed over US$15.7bn in much-needed concessional development financing to 134 developing countries around the world, with priority given to the poorest amongst them.