OFID governing board approves new loans, grants| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 15 August 2022 04:20 GMT

OFID governing board approves new loans, grants

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The governing board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) announced on Wednesday approval of 12 loans and grants totaling over USD 201 million to boost socio-economic development in 29 partner countries. The bulk of the funding will co-finance projects aimed at combating energy poverty, followed by loans to help bolster the agriculture, education, health and transportation sectors of the recipient countries, Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, director general of OFID, noted in a statement following OFID's 140th Session meeting. Al-Herbish indicated that Bangladesh was granted USD 30 million for the Road Connectivity project, which would upgrade 70 km of the Dhaka-Northwest Corridor and the Benapole and Burimari land ports. The project is expected to help reduce poverty for some 6.9 million people through the improved access to jobs and social services, as well as transport of inputs and agricultural goods. China acquired a USD-18-million loan for the Gansu Vocational Education project, which is to expand and equip four vocational secondary schools in the prefectures of Linxia and Dingxi, benefiting over 19,000 students who will receive the technical skills needed to obtain better-paying jobs. Egypt obtained a USD 30 million loan for the Rehabilitation of Irrigation and Drainage Pumping Stations to modernize irrigation infrastructure, help boost food security, and reduce poverty levels for approximately 215,000 people residing near Cairo. Malawi received a supplementary loan of USD eight million for the Malawi Nkhata Bay District Hospital project to provide medical equipment and furniture for a hospital that will serve over 400,000 people. Morocco received a loan of USD 37.2 million for the Kenitra Power Plant Facility Expansion project to help satisfy the country's increasing demand for electricity through the installation of three new gas turbine units. On completion the project will help provide an uninterrupted and affordable supply of energy for nearly two million inhabitants. Rwanda obtained a supplementary loan of USD 12 million for the Electricity Access Scale Up project to improve access to reliable and cost-effective electricity services for households and priority public institutions such as schools and health centers in urban and peri-urban areas, as well as densely-populated rural areas presently unconnected to the grid. Tajikistan acquired a loan of USD 14 million for the CAREC Corridor 6 project to rehabilitate and reconstruct a road located between Ayni-Panjakent and the Uzbek border, an isolated and remote area with high poverty levels. An estimated 343,000 people will benefit from enhanced access to marketplaces and social amenities, in addition to safer travel. Tunisia received a loan of USD 50 million for Sousse-D Combined Cycle Power Plant, which is to help meet growing energy demands through the construction of a power plant situated 140 km south of the capital Tunis. The project is expected to help create jobs, enhance food security, boost important industries and improve living standards. Also, Al-Herbish pointed out that four other grants totaling almost USD 2.2 million were also approved at the meeting in support of other projects and programs. He explained that the first grant is aimed at boosting the OFID/CAF joint initiative Energy for the Poor Projects and Policies Preparation Facility in the Latin American Region, which aims at providing modern energy services to 15 developing countries that include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. The second grant, Al-Herbish added, was acquired by the Human Appeal International to help establish a seawater desalination plant in the Gaza Strip to provide safe drinking water supplies to schools and pre-schools, benefiting some 300,000 children. The third grant went to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to support a project HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care, and support for women who use drugs, and for women prisoners that will be carried out in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Nepal, and Pakistan. The fourth grant was obtained by the Yabous Foundation to finance the purchase of an electricity generator to help address energy shortages at the Jerusalem-based Yabous Cultural Center, Al-Herbish said, adding that some 400, 000 people are expected to benefit from the scheme. Since its inception, OFID has committed over USD 14.2 billion in much-needed concessional development financing to 132 developing countries around the world, with priority given to the poorest amongst them.

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