(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), meeting in its 138th Session, has approved 15 loans and grants totaling over 126 million to boost socio-economic development in over 13 partner countries.
The given loans include 12 million for Chad to finance 99 km-long Massakory-Ngouri-Bol Road project to enhance the country's trade opportunities and boost access to social services, marketplaces for some 800,000 people living in 40 villages.
Congo was given 5 million-loan for the Republic of Blanche Gomes Hospital-Phase II, to expand this maternal child care hospital located in the capital Brazzaville through the construction and equipping of a new 100-bed facility, thus doubling in-patient capacity.
Cuba also got 16 million-loan to finance Palma Soriano Water Supply and Sanitation System Rehabilitation, to upgrade infrastructure in order to provide potable water and safe sanitation services to over 135,000 people, thereby improving health indicators and reducing pollution of the watershed. OFID approved a 16 million-loan to Lesotho Metolong Water Supply (Supplementary Loan), To build dams, pumping stations and related infrastructure to deliver reliable water supplies to some 300,000 people in the capital Maseru and three outlying towns.
Malawi Rural Livelihoods and Economic Enhancement Program got 10 million-loan, to strengthen and improve farmers' linkages to value chains and establishing more efficient production, transport, storage, processing and marketing systems, and in turn raise incomes and living standards.
OFID also approved a 6 million-loan to Senegal Dalal Jamm Hospital (Supplementary Loan), to construct and equip a 300-bed referral hospital that will serve over 1.4 million inhabitants living in Greater Dakar.
A 10 million-loan offered to Sierra Leone Matotoka-Yiye Road, to rehabilitate a 70 km road that traverses key agricultural areas, thereby improving the transport of produce and inputs, as well as links to social services for some one million people. Sri Lanka National Road Improvement got a 40 million-loan, to upgrade 202 km of key national highways and rehabilitate the Karadana Bridge, and in turn, help boost socio-economic development and enhance access to markets, social amenities and employment opportunities.
OFID also approved a 20 million-loan to Yemen Al Mocha 60 MW Wind Park, to install all equipment and materials needed to supply wind-powered energy to around 75,000 people in under-served rural communities. Moreover, six grants totaling 4.4 million were also approved. One will co-finance Phase V of an initiative that will support 24 NGOs providing vital services to Palestinians, while another will help fund a project of the Multi-dimensional Resource Center, which will introduce improved cultivation methods to some 12,000 people in rural communities in Nepal.
The Institute for University Co-operation Onlus will receive a grant to support a project that will develop artisanal fishery and aquaculture resources in Peru, benefiting over 20,000 artisanal fishermen. Another grant will help upgrade the Radiation and Isotopes Center in Khartoum, the Sudan, the largest radiotherapy facility in the country.
OFID will also help finance the attendance of participants from least-developed countries at the AIDS 2012 Conference. Additionally, OFID will become a principal patron of the Lindau Foundation, which will establish an OFID Fellowship Program that will enable young scientists from OFID Member States and least-developed countries to attend the Lindau meetings.
Since its inception, OFID has committed over 13.8 billion in much-needed concessional development financing to 132 developing countries around the world, with priority given to the poorest amongst them.