OFID’s Governing Board approves fresh funding in its 146th session - Funds to benefit over 30 countries worldwide
Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2014. Meeting in its 146th Session, the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved financing of nearly US$264 million to boost socio-economic development in over 30 partner countries. Of the new commitments, over US$193m will support 10 public sector loans and nine grants. The bulk of the public sector funding will co-finance agriculture, transportation, education, energy, health and water supply and sanitation projects. Under OFID’s private sector and trade finance programs, seven projects totalling US$70m were approved.
The approved public sector loans are as follows:
Enhanced HIPC Initiative Debt Relief Part II. To provide debt relief that will help Burundi free up resources that can be directed towards vital social sectors such as education and health.
Laibin Vocational Education. To construct a new vocational secondary school and campus center comprising over 225,000 m2 to help address the shortage of skilled workers in Laibin City. An estimated 15,000 students/year are expected to benefit from the project, as well as around 12,000 skilled laborers/year seeking additional training.
Integrated Agriculture Rehabilitation Project in the Maniema Province (additional loan). To rehabilitate an additional 607 km of rural feeder roads, thus opening up agricultural production zones and facilitating access to marketplaces. The improved roads will also enable the population to access basic social services; benefitting around 300,000 people.
Assiut Power Plant. To construct a 650 MW power plant next to an existing 624 MW plant, thus delivering more energy to some 3.5 million people in the Assiut Governorate. As the generated power will be connected to the national grid, outlying populations will also benefit.
Arba Rakati–Gelemso–Michata Road Upgrading Project–Lot 2 Gelemso–Michata. To upgrade a 45.5 km road located in the eastern region to facilitate the movement of important cash crops and enhance access to basic social services, directly benefiting over one million people.
Completion of the Extension and Modernization of Bamako-Senou International Airport. To carry out works that will include the installation of equipment and completion of a terminal building and other infrastructure.
São Tomé and Príncipe
Neves Water Supply. To enhance the access, quality and supply of potable water in the city of Neves by rehabilitating and extending water supply and sanitation systems, benefiting about 7,400 people.
Dakar’s “Zone Soleil” Sanitation. To improve sanitation infrastructure in Pikine, a suburb of the capital Dakar. This will not only improve living conditions but also help prevent flooding during the rainy season, which presently poses a significant health risk to 43,000-strong population.
Perseverance Island Infrastructure – Phase II. To develop a suburban residential area with 1,029 housing units containing all utilities (water, sewer, electricity, telecommunications, etc), as well as the infrastructure required to link communities to the mainland.
Health Health Facilities Improvement. To renovate and expand the Academic Hospital of Paramaribo, the main national referral and teaching hospital in the country, and to construct five primary health care centers. An estimated 350,000 people are expected to benefit from the project.
Nine grants totaling US$8.55m were also approved in support of the following projects/programs:
Entrepreneurs de Monde. US$600,000. To expand the manufacturing of energy efficient products (i.e. improved stoves and solar lanterns) and make them available to poor households in rural and peri-urban areas in Burkina Faso and Haiti. The project expects to sell circa 70,000 clean energy products by the end of 2016, representing nearly 60,000 new users and 300,000 indirect beneficiaries.
Foundation for the Social Promotion of Culture. US$800,000. To provide safe water and sanitation services to communities in Bolivia and Haiti, benefiting nearly 29,000 people.
International Development Law Organization. US$300,000. To support a global HIV and health law program in Benin, Guatemala and El Salvador, with the aim to increase access to healthcare services and reduce HIV-related discrimination.
International Water Association. US$450,000. To implement water safety plans in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone, thus improving health and reducing the incidence of waterborne illnesses.
Practical Action. US$400,000. To decrease cooking fuel costs for poor households in El-Fasher, North Darfur, the Sudan, and to reduce indoor air pollution and related illnesses and hazards through the distribution of around 16,000 LPG cooking sets.
OFID/UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) School Program in East Jerusalem. US$2.5m. To improve the quality of education at three schools that serve more than 1,600 pupils in the Shu’fat Refugee Camp.
United Nations Development Program/Program of Assistance for Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP). US$2m. To renovate and rehabilitate 200 housing units owned by poor and marginalized families, representing around 1,500 people. In addition, a neurology department at the Al-Makassed Hospital will be established to meet the growing needs of the population.
UNDP/PAPP. US$500,000. To provide renewable energy generation systems for St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem to address electricity shortages and reduce operational costs.
World Health Organization. US$1m. To step up nursing and midwifery education to improve maternal and newborn health in Botswana, Cameroon, Lesotho and Malawi.
In addition to the public sector projects and grants approved at the meeting, three financing facilities totaling US$20m were approved under OFID’s private sector lending window. Two will support financial institutions in Tajikistan (the first private sector operation in the country) and Armenia in expanding their lending activities to microfinance and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A third will support the provision of lease financing to Mauritanian businesses.
Under OFID’s trade finance program, four financing facilities totaling US$50m were approved to help financial institutions in Paraguay, El Salvador and Nicaragua expand their services for on-lending to SMEs. These are the first trade finance loans approved for Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Since its inception, OFID has committed nearly US$16.7bn in much-needed concessional development financing to 134 developing countries around the world, with priority given to the poorest amongst them.