OFID’s Governing Board approves fresh funding to boost socio-economic development in over 30 partner countries

from OPEC Fund for International Development
Published on 11 Mar 2015

Vienna, Austria, March 11, 2015. Over 30 partner countries stand to benefit from the latest round of financing approved at the 150th Session of the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Public sector approvals amounting to US$201m will support the following projects:

Bangladesh 25.0

Teesta River Bridge and Access Roads. To improve connectivity between the districts of Gaibandha and Kurigram, where poverty-levels are high. This will enable communities to reach social amenities and have an improved link to the capital Dhaka.

Bolivia 70.0

Villa Granado-La Palizada Road. To rehabilitate a key stretch between the cities of Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, inhabited by around two million people. This will help the region’s small farmers receive inputs and transport produce, and in turn raise incomes and boost food security.

Cameroon 14.0

Olama-Kribi Road (Bingambo-Grandzambi Section). To pave a 204km earth road that joins the capital Yaounde to Kribi, areas rich in agricultural land. Around 2.5 million people will have a better means of reaching health facilities, schools, market centers and other important services.

Djibouti 19.0

Tadjoura Port Expansion. To enable Djibouti to accommodate a higher volume of exports; in particular Ethiopian potash. This will contribute to the development of the northern region, one of the poorest parts of the country. In all, around 200,000 people stand to benefit from the project.

Ethiopia 25.0 Shambu-Bako Road. To pave a deteriorated gravel road to improve the delivery of inputs and transport of crops to marketplaces for nearly 300,000 people, who will also be able to enjoy better access to social services and jobs.

The Gambia 13.0

Rural Infrastructure Development. To provide basic infrastructure in five impoverished rural regions across the country. This will include building roads, health centers, schools and small water supply and sanitation systems, among others.

Nepal 20.0

Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Sector (Phase III). To carry out sub-projects that will provide infrastructure and carry out training and capacity building schemes. Around 400,000 inhabitants will receive piped-in water supplies, and over 20,000 households improved sanitation facilities.

Uganda 15.0 Rural Electrification Project in Kayunga & Kamuli Service Territories. To provide electrical connections to nearly 13,000 households and provide electricity to schools, health centers, agricultural enterprises and other vital infrastructure.

Total (US$m) 201.0

Eight grants totaling nearly US$5.8m were also approved for the following projects/programs:

· Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). US$350,000. To fund an OFID/ICTP Postgraduate Fellowship Program that will provide fellowships opportunities in science-related fields to 15 PhD students from developing countries.

· Franco-Afghan Friendship. US$400,000. To co-finance a program targeting 32 Afghan schools in five provinces. Activities will include constructing and equipping schools, and provision of vocational and teacher training, directly benefiting around 600 teachers and 65,000 pupils.

· ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled. US$800,000. To enhance physical rehabilitation services used by nearly 9,000 people in Madagascar, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. Disadvantaged groups will be able to receive subsidized treatment and services, including transport and accommodation.

· Jordan River Foundation – Madrasati Initiative. US$700,000. To build and rehabilitate infrastructure and provide equipment and furniture in eight public schools from five governorates in Jordan. About 3,200 pupils, many of whom are Syrian refugees, will benefit from the project, as well as over 250 teachers from training and capacity building activities.

· Organization for International Economic Relations/UNIDO. US$800,000. To help finance a Solar Light for All initiative for off-grid, rural communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The project is expected to improve the quality of life and living conditions for at least 30,000 individuals.

· UNAIDS. US$1.2m. To accelerate access to HIV prevention and treatment services to countries in the MENA region (Djibouti, Morocco, Somalia, the Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen).

· UNDP/PAPP. US$1.2m. To ensure adequate and safe housing through the rehabilitation of severely or partially damaged houses for over 140 families in the Gaza Strip.

· Varkey Gems Foundation. US$300,000. To support a capacity-building scheme that will benefit nearly 6,000 school leaders and teachers, as well as around 300,000 pupils enrolled in 30 districts in central and northern Uganda.

Two financing facilities totaling US$35m were approved under OFID’s private sector business activities. One will help a financial institution in Armenia expand its lending activities to SMEs, while another will go towards infrastructure investments in sub-Saharan Africa in sectors such as energy, transportation, ICT, water, agriculture and logistics.

Under OFID’s trade finance facility, US$40m was approved to support international trade finance activities in Honduras and provide funding for on-lending to corporates and SMEs in Mongolia to help them meet their trade financing requirements. The Board also approved €25m for trade finance-related activities for companies in Turkey.