OPEC fund grants $233 million for global economy
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development has approved $233 million in new funding to support economic recovery, fund new infrastructure and strengthen food security.
The agreement was approved at the 179th session of its board of directors in Vienna and will benefit public sector projects promoting sustainable development around the world, starting with four countries – Kosovo, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.
In Kosovo, a $40 million loan was approved by the OPEC Fund for Public Finance and Economic Growth Program to support the government’s priorities set out in its 2030 National Development Strategy aimed at strengthening partnerships , the transition to a greener economy and the improvement of socio-economic indicators.
The program, developed with the World Bank Group, will improve budget transparency, foster private sector development by streamlining the country’s regulatory framework, and enable environmental reforms in the energy and waste management sectors.
In Pakistan, a $72 million loan was granted for the Mohmand Dam Multipurpose Project which will finance the construction of a hydroelectric dam and the supply of equipment. The dam will have a 1.6 million square meter reservoir and diversion tunnels that will feed new and existing irrigation canals.
When completed, the Mohmand Dam will increase the country’s installed renewable energy capacity by 800 MW and provide sustainable drinking water to two million residents of the city of Peshawar.
The project will also enhance food security through higher agricultural yields on nearly 15,000 hectares of agricultural land while improving the region’s resilience to flooding.
For Uzbekistan, he secured a $100 million loan for the Uzbekistan Transition Acceleration Program which will support the country’s transition to a market economy by improving resource allocation and enabling private sector investments.
The program includes strengthening the role of the private sector, improving the management of public enterprises, strengthening fiscal transparency and accountability, and increasing economic and social inclusion, especially for women and men. People with Disabilities.
In Africa, Zimbabwe received a $15 million loan for the Smallholder Agriculture Cluster Project which aims to increase household incomes and improve food security and nutrition for more than 390,000 people in five provinces of the country through value chain development and infrastructure provision.
The OPEC Fund loan will finance the construction of small climate-resilient irrigation schemes, the rehabilitation of 90 kilometers of feeder roads and the installation of water supply and sanitation facilities.
The Board also approved three grants totaling $6 million for joint OPEC Fund technical cooperation facilities with three co-financing partners – the Asian Development Bank ($3 million), the for Latin America ($1 million) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Reconstruction. Development ($2 million).
The facilities will primarily be used to finance activities related to project preparation, such as feasibility studies, to help ensure better project preparation and build a strong portfolio of bankable sovereign and non-sovereign operations. Potential sectors will include agriculture, energy, transport, water and sanitation, as well as manufacturing and services.
The OPEC Fund was established by OPEC member countries in 1976 with a distinct purpose that includes driving development, strengthening communities and empowering people.
To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than $22 billion to development projects in more than 125 countries, at an estimated total cost of $187 billion. It is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA/Positive Outlook by S&P in 2021.