OPEC Fund approves US$352m for global development operations
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has approved US$352 million for sustainable development operations across the world at the organization’s 178th Session of the Governing Board, held virtually .
Members of the Governing Board also reviewed several milestones achieved as part of the OPEC Fund Strategic Framework 2030, including inaugural credit ratings for the organization from S&P Global (AA; Positive Outlook ) and Fitch Ratings (AA+; Stable Outlook). The Strategic Framework 2030 is designed to diversify the OPEC Fund’s financial resources and deliver greater development impact for partner countries.
The OPEC Fund’s new financing will support the following public sector projects:
Bosnia and Herzegovina: €25 million (US$27.15 million) loan for the Corridor Vc Motorway, Section Nemila-Donja Gracanica (Zenica North), to improve travel connections for some 150,000 people in the city of Zenica, the country’s most important center for mining and steel production. This loan will finance a 17.6-km road section including roads, tunnels and viaducts. Corridor Vc will improve the connectivity of Bosnia and Herzegovina with its neighbors and the Western Balkans region. Reduced travel times are expected to boost trade and tourism, strengthening the local economy.
Côte d’Ivoire: US$60 million loan for the Northern Agro-Industrial Pole Project (2 PAI-Nord). The project will support the construction and rehabilitation of social and market infrastructure, including rural roads, healthcare centers and schools, warehouses and collection centers, as well as infrastructure relating to fisheries and livestock production. It will boost food security and household incomes for some 400,000 people and promote the export of cash crops. Capacity building and institutional strengthening are also part of the project.
Dominican Republic: US$60 million loan for the Program to Expand Electricity Networks and Reduce Technical Losses in Distribution Systems to support the government’s effort to reduce electricity distribution losses and improve the efficiency of the electrical infrastructure nationwide. Civil works will include the construction of new substations and distribution networks and the rehabilitation of existing ones in provinces situated in the north and east of the country. Around 1.3 million people are to benefit from the program.
Ghana: US$20 million loan for the Integrated Rural Development Project (Phase 2) to expand socio-economic infrastructure and improve livelihoods for some 120,000 individuals across high-poverty districts selected via a demand-driven approach. Works will include constructing and equipping classrooms, teachers’ quarters, health clinics, market infrastructure and drainage works, as well as providing credit to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in various activities along the agriculture value chain – particularly those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kenya: US$40 million loan for the Development of Urban Roads in Five Counties – Phase 1 project to construct a 66-km road network in the northeastern region in Wajir Country, a high-poverty area populated by 720,000 people. On completion, the project will facilitate trade, improve access to social services and marketplaces, and enhance employment opportunities.
Lesotho: US$19 million loan for the Regeneration of Landscapes and Livelihood (ROLL) Project to improve livelihoods and promote resource-use practices, reducing environmental degradation in more than 2,200 villages populated by some 630,000 people. Project components include a ‘Regeneration Coalition Facility’ that will bring together various stakeholders to identify measures needed to accomplish these aims, and a ‘Regeneration Opportunities Fund’ that will catalyze investments in land regeneration projects. Technical assistance will also be provided to rural SMEs wanting to shift to more sustainable practices, while seed funding will support research and development.
Malawi: US$15 million loan for the Dowa Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project to expand and upgrade the existing water supply system to meet current demand and expand supply. The project will include construction of a water treatment plant, a pumping station and a 51 km-long distribution pipeline, as well as the installation of new communal water points and the rehabilitation of existing ones. Also planned is the replacement of the sewage system at the Dowa district hospital and the installation of sanitation facilities at the Dzaleka refugee camp. The project is expected to improve the health and living conditions for around 100,000 people.
Nicaragua: US$23 million loan for the Empalme La Tronquera – Pueblo Nuevo Rural Road Project to promote sustainable development and regional integration in the northern department of Estelí, where agriculture is the main economic activity. The project includes the upgrading of a 22-km road – presently usable only during the dry season – to provide year-round access for some 110,000 people. The improved road will facilitate the transport of crops to marketplaces and enhance connectivity to social services and employment opportunities.
Rwanda: US$18 million loan for the Nyacyonga-Mukoto Road Project to upgrade a 36-km stretch that will improve connections for circa 2.8 million people engaged in economic activities that include agriculture, mining and tourism. In addition to strengthening livelihoods, the project will improve access to production areas, markets and social amenities. The project will also help boost trade with neighboring countries, particularly DR Congo and Uganda.
Turkmenistan: US$45 million loan for the Marine Merchant Fleet Project. It will include the construction of three new vessels for rail, passenger and dry cargo. Once operational the new ships will increase the utilization of the Turkmenbashi seaport on the Caspian Sea, part of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor and one of the largest ports in the country. The project will also offer technology-transfer by providing training in shipbuilding and repair to the shipyard’s staff. In addition to boosting trade and economic activity, the project will create job opportunities, particularly for young graduates.
The OPEC Fund’s new financing will also support a US$25 million private sector operation to support infrastructure projects in selected Latin America and Caribbean countries.
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