(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Austrian President Heinz Fischer expressed his deep appreciation to the role played by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) in helping underdeveloped countries to achieve development and preserve energy.
On the sidelines of Fischer's first visit to OFID headquarters, in Vienna, he hailed the effort exerted by the late Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, that led to the hosting OFID's headquarters in the Austrian capital.
The Austrian government and its people are sharing strong ties with OFID that have been built during the last 36 years, Fischer said. He praised the remarkable role played by OFID inside and outside of the country.
He highlighted OFID's increasing commitment to bringing energy to the underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, He expressed his admiration to this initiative that offered support to the sustainable development in such countries all over the world.
Vienna has hosted a number of international organizations including the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and United Nations International Sustainable Energy Organization for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (UNISEO).
Sulaiman Jasser Al-Harbash, Director General of OFID expressed his deep gratitude to Austria for hosting OFID and the support it received from senior local officials since its establishment in 1976.
He expressed his happiness of the historical visit of Fischer to OFID headquarters.
Al-Harbash pointed out that OFID offers finance and aid to a number of projects and public benefit associations in Austria including The Children's Village.
The Children's Village is a non-profit, charitable, humanitarian organization committed to the prevention of child abuse and negligence.
Offering Energy to poor countries is of top priority to OFID, Al Herbesh affirmed.
This initiative started after OPED summit in 2007, and later was launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abduallah Bin Abdulaziz in 2008.
Millions of poor people are still using woods, candles and batteries as primitive sources of energy to meet their daily needs for cooking, lighting and operating electrical appliances.
OFID is offering soft loans to 132 poor and developing countries all over the world, valued at USD 13 billion, giving priority to the poorest countries.
Al-Herbesh, of Saudi nationality, has taken office as General Director of OFID since November 2003, for five years period, and his first term was renewed.