OPEC Fund approves $100m for operations in developing countries
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) approved $100 million in new funding to support development operations in Burundi, Nicaragua and Ghana.
The organization is continuing to help developing countries mitigate, contain and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the latest funding, in recent weeks the OPEC Fund has approved $175 million in public sector lending to support COVID-19 response efforts in Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Dominica, El Salvador, Guyana and Rwanda.
Under the organization’s Private Sector and Trade Finance Facility, $60 million was also approved to support SMEs in Asia and Latin America and to strengthen agricultural supply in hard-hit African countries.
The Governing Board also endorsed a number of key recommendations that directly support the OPEC Fund’s Strategic Framework. The Framework focuses on enabling the organization to become more agile and responsive to the changing development landscape in order to maximize development impact.
Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, OPEC Fund Director-General said: “Despite the challenging external environment, the organization has made solid strategic progress. Ultimately, this means we are better able to support our partners with their urgent development priorities. We are pleased that our Governing Board has endorsed this progress and we are determined to continue to play our counter-cyclical role through the remainder of 2020 and beyond.”
The newly-approved public sector loans, amounting to $50 million, will support the following projects:
Burundi: $20m Agricultural Production Intensification & Vulnerability Reduction Project in Burundi (PIPARV-B)
To strengthen the resilience of agricultural production systems and reduce environmental degradation through the development of marshland and hill irrigation systems. The project will also rehabilitate 150 km of rural access roads and build storage facilities, benefiting around 766,000 people.
Nicaragua: $30m Ochomogo-Las Salinas Rural Road
To promote sustainable socio-economic development in rural areas by upgrading a 29 km road important for key economic activities such as agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism. Around 83,000 people in the project area will directly benefit from lower transport costs, higher household incomes and better access to education, health, and other social services.
Under the OPEC Fund’s trade finance operations, $50 million was approved to support agricultural exports from Ghana.