The Opec Fund for International Development, OFID, has approved US$243 million in new funding to support developing countries across the globe.
The organisation also reported that it is already helping developing countries to mitigate, contain and recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, reported Emirates news agency Wam.
The new funding was approved by the Opec Fund’s Governing Board during its 172nd Session, held virtually. It comprises public and private sector finance related to development operations in the education, infrastructure and water and sanitation sectors, as well as support for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
"Our development finance supports operations in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across Africa, Asia and Latin America," said Opec Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa.
"We are working hard to address Covid-19-related development issues, while continuing to support other urgent needs in our partner countries. The Sustainable Development Goals are deeply interconnected and the pandemic means even more pressure on resources for all areas of social, environmental and economic progress."
The new public sector loans approved by the OFID, amounting to $163 million, will support the following projects: Burkina Faso with $23 million to support Dori and Fada N’Gourma Universities Expansion; China with $30 million to support Hubei Vocational Education; and Papua New Guinea with $50 million to help Sustainable Highlands Highway Investment Programme (Tranche 2).
Also, $20 million to support Senegal's Water Valorisation for Value Chains Development Project; Sierra Leone with $20 million to assist Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping; and Uganda with $20 million to help Third Line of Credit to Uganda Development Bank Limited.
Under the Opec Fund’s private sector operations, the Governing Board approved a total of $80 million. The $30 million will support SME's in Paraguay via a financial institution as those SMEs address business interruptions and other challenges related to Covid-19. The remaining $50 million will be extended to a financial institution for on-lending to infrastructure projects in eligible African countries.
In addition to the new funding, OFID has in recent weeks approved $10 million to support Guatemala’s response plan to Covid-19 as well as $20 million to help the Maldives combat the pandemic. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the organisation has dedicated $1 billion to fund Covid-19 impact and recovery efforts in developing countries.
OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of Opec; including the United Arab Emirates. It is the development finance institution established as a channel of aid to developing countries.