OFID approves USD 154 mln for development in 19 countries

VIENNA, March 18 (KUNA) — The 154th Session of the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) on Friday approved USD 154 million for backing sustainable development in 19 partner countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
“These are the first approvals under our new Corporate Plan 2016-2025, which focuses on support to projects in the mutually reinforcing areas of energy, water, food security and transportation,” OFID Director-General Suleiman J. Al-Herbish said in a statement.
He added that USD 85 million will go to support three vital projects in Benin, Pakistan and Sierra Leone, covering agriculture, housing, transport and urban development, Al-Herbish added.
Four grants totaling USD 1.65 million were also approved to finance a host of food programs and health initiatives in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, Palestine and Yemen.
Under OFID’s private sector, five financing facilities totaling over USD 55 million were approved, Al-Herbish said, adding that one will be provided to an entity with the objective to increase the generation and transmission of electricity in Bangladesh, while two others will support financial institutions in expanding their lending activities to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in Cambodia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The fourth is OFID’s first-ever sub-ordinated debt financing to a bank, to be extended to a lending institution in Nicaragua. This will strengthen the bank’s capital base, enabling it to further support long-term capital projects in the agriculture sector, a significant employer and major export industry for Nicaragua. Funds were also approved to a project in the Urban Development sector (commercial property) to help meet growing demands for office space in Mozambique.
By the same token, under OFID’s trade finance facility, USD15 million was approved to a financing facility that supports the working capital needs of enterprises in Costa Rica dedicated to international trade activities. This will be OFID’s first-ever trade finance approval in the country. (end) amj.msa