Vienna, Austria, April 24, 2017. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed loan agreements totaling US$111m with partner countries Bolivia, Ethiopia and Guinea on the sidelines of the World Bank Spring Meetings held April 21-23 in Washington, DC. The agreements were signed by OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish and ministers from the beneficiary countries.
Commenting on the newly-signed loans, Al-Herbish noted that over 1.5 million people stood to benefit from the OFID co-financed projects, which aimed at enhancing food security, improving transport links and upgrading basic infrastructure. “These areas fall in line with OFID’s strategic plan, which focuses on a nexus approach as a means of helping alleviate poverty,” he said. “OFID has enjoyed long-standing partnerships with Bolivia, Ethiopia and Guinea and looks forward to strengthening and pursuing additional avenues of cooperation in other development projects.”
The three public sector projects are being co-financed by the governments of the recipient countries and the Development Bank of Latin America (Bolivia) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Ethiopia and Guinea). They are:
Bolivia. US$61m. Dams Program: More Investments for Irrigation. This project aims at increasing investments in dams and related infrastructure in seven departments with high poverty levels, especially among indigenous, rural communities. Activities will focus on improving irrigation and expanding cultivatable land to boost agricultural productivity. Technical assistance and capacity-building components are also planned. Around 100,000 people reliant on subsistence agriculture are expected to benefit from the project.
Ethiopia. US$30m. Shambu–Agamsa Road Upgrading. To improve a 94km-long stretch situated in the central/western region, with the goal of providing some 620,000 people with access to social services and reducing travel time and costs. The project will also help increase farmers’ revenues by facilitating the delivery of their crops to marketplaces.
Guinea. US$20m. Integrated Rural Development. To help alleviate poverty and enhance food security in the eastern and southern parts of the country; namely, the Kindia, Mamou, Faranah and Kankan regions. Works to be carried include upgrading roads, irrigation and water supply systems, as well as infrastructure related to agricultural production and storage. An institutional strengthening component is also planned. In all, around 800,000 people are expected to benefit from the project.
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