Key sectors in four developing countries receive boost with fresh financing from OFID

from OPEC Fund for International Development
Published on 09 Jul 2012 View Original

On July 9, OFID signed four public sector loan agreements with The Gambia, DR Congo and Bangladesh to help fund projects aimed at helping fight energy poverty, enhance food security and provide health services to underserved communities. The agreements were signed by OFID Director-general, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish and HE Abdou Kolley, Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs of The Gambia; HE Mr. Mosud Mannan, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Germany; and, HE Mr. Roger Shulungu Runika, Vice Minister of Finance of DR Congo.

The Gambia's US$12 million loan will co-finance the Kotu Power Generation Expansion Project, with the view to provide the population, particularly unconnected communities, with an affordable and consistent supply of electrical power. At least 500,000 people will benefit from the upgraded infrastructure. The Gambia’s Finance Minister remarked that OFID’s assistance would help address the country’s energy shortages as the project would increase the Kotu power plant’s generation capacity, thus helping combat poverty.

A US$30 million loan taken by Bangladesh will help fund the Sikalbaha 225 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant Project to help improve access, reliability and quality of electrical power to households in the greater Chittagong area. Mr. Mannan, after signing the agreement, thanked OFID for its longstanding cooperation and said that the project would help stimulate economic activity in the country from the provision of increased energy supplies that are needed to meet current demands.

DR Congo signed two loan agreements that will co-finance the following projects:

Revitalization of Health Zones. To support a broader Government program aimed at rehabilitating and equipping healthcare centers across all governorates of Congo DR. Works will be carried out in the heavily-populated provinces of Kinshasa and Bandundu, areas with high poverty levels. OFID’s co-financing is in the amount of US$6 million..

Development of Rice Cultivation in Masina. To help reduce poverty and boost food security through the expansion of an irrigation network and construction of agricultural infrastructure. Around 10 million inhabitants residing near the capital Kinshasa will benefit from the project. OFID’s loan totals US$5 million.

The Vice-Minister of DR Congo expressed his appreciation to OFID for the new financing, as the needs of his country were substantial. Such assistance would help bolster priority sectors in his country and pave the way for pursuing further cooperation with OFID in other key areas.

On June 26 Mr. Al-Herbish signed a US$10 million loan agreement with Sierra Leone for the Matotoka-Yiye Road project. The agreement was countersigned by HE Mr. Jongopie Stevens, Ambassador of Sierra Leone to Germany. Under the project, a 70 km road that traverses key agricultural areas will be rehabilitated, thereby improving the transport of produce and inputs, as well as links to social services for some one million people.