OFID – the OPEC Fund for International Development – has signed public sector loan agreements totaling more than $80 million.
The agreements were signed by OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish and ministers from the beneficiary countries.
Commenting on the newly-signed public sector loans, Al-Herbish said: “The three loan agreements support the health and transportation sectors, which are vital to sustainable development.
The agreements also support OFID’s strategy of working in cooperation with developing country partners and the international community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty through financing essential infrastructure, strengthening social services and promoting productivity, competitiveness and trade.”
The public sector agreements will support the following countries / projects:
China. US$41.6 million. Hohhot Healthcare. To expand the Hohhot Mongolian Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine through the construction of a 700-bed medical and care center for the elderly. The new facility will increase and improve in-patient capacity, and offer out-patient services for over 510,000 individuals per year.
Benin. US$24 million. International Road Corridor Cotonou-Niamey: Beroubouay-Malanville section (169.4 km). To upgrade a stretch of road in an area inhabited by over one million people. This will help promote regional trade between Benin and its landlocked neighbors Niger and Burkina Faso.
Niger. US$15 million. Niamey Express Highway. To rehabilitate a 9.6 km road connecting the Diori Hamami International Airport to the city center, benefiting over 1.2 million people.
In a meeting with Johannes Hahn, Member of the European Commission, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Al-Herbish highlighted OFID’s activities.
The Commissioner spoke of the ongoing cooperation between the EU and the Arab Coordination Group Institutions, indicating he was seeking OFID’s support in enhancing cooperation with the Coordination Group in the Southern Mediterranean.
Hahn also underlined the need for additional support for UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East – owing to the agency receiving reduced funding, particularly for its education programs.
OFID’s delegation also attended meetings of the G-24 Ministers and the Development Committee, which discussed, among other topics, the need to maximize financing for development through all possible means, including by boosting private sector interventions; supporting entrepreneurship and innovation; and harnessing private sector skills and knowledge. Directing more funds to the education and health sectors was also discussed.
During the mission, OFID’s Al-Herbish co-chaired a meeting between the World Bank’s MENA region and a number of Arab institutions, plus OFID and the Islamic Development Bank.
The meeting was a follow-up to the memorandum of understanding signed with the World Bank known as the Deep Dive initiative, which focuses on mutually beneficial cooperation.