By Fatmata Jengbe
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved $243 million in funding to support developing countries across the globe. It also noted that it is already aiding developing countries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
“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.”
UAE news agency WAM reported that public sector loans of $163 million will go towards: 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).
$20 million will 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.
Meanwhile, $80 million will go to private sector operations. $30 million will support small and medium enterprises in Paraguay which address business interruptions and other challenges related to COVID-19. The remaining $50 million will go to a financial institution for on-lending to infrastructure projects in eligible African countries.
In addition to this, OFID recently 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.