THUR 28 JAN, 2021-theGBJournal-The OPEC Fund for International Development marks its 45th anniversary today. Since inception, the multilateral development finance institution has approved more than US$25 billion in essential financing for 135 partner countries.
Established in 1976 with a distinct mandate to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people, the OPEC Fund’s member countries are: Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. While the organization works directly with partner countries, it also collaborates with other development finance institutions, regional development banks and the specialized agencies of the United Nations to maximize its development impact.
The 45th anniversary coincides with a demonstration of steadfast support from the organization’s member countries. The OPEC Fund’s Governing Board recently endorsed a second tranche of US$400 million to be contributed by member countries over the next four years. The Ministerial Council approved a US$1 billion Fourth Replenishment of the OPEC Fund’s resources in 2001, of which this second tranche is a part. The first tranche of US$600 million was contributed over the past eight years.
Abdulwahab A Al-Bader, Chairman of the OPEC Fund’s Governing Board, said: “The organization’s development operations are self-sustaining, due to prudent management and a long history of positive operational income. This second tranche of contributions signifies member country determination to strengthen the OPEC Fund’s ability to meet development challenges that have become even more urgent as a result of COVID-19.”
OPEC Fund Ministerial Council Member and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan outlined the unique role the organization plays in international development: “The OPEC Fund has been playing a distinguished role in promoting global development, and it is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries only. All developing countries, with the exception of its own members, are eligible for assistance.”
The OPEC Fund’s Ministerial Council member and Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati said: “A new strategy introduced in 2019 and backed by member countries means that the organization has become more agile and can respond without delay to the changing needs of partner countries. We can now move quickly and effectively to ensure finance reaches those who need it most, as low-income communities around the world attempt to recover from the pandemic.”
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “Thanks to the foresight and dedication of our member countries, the OPEC Fund continues to demonstrate solidarity and play its part in reducing global inequality. During the year ahead, we will focus on delivering in line with our clear and ambitious Strategic Framework to further expand our development impact and secure our future for many years to come.”
To date, the OPEC Fund’s public sector operations have supported the development of 15 GW of electricity generation capacity; contributed to the construction and development of 11,360 km of roads and railways; and provided 11.5 million households with access to water and sanitation. Since launching in 1998 and 2006, the organization’s private sector and trade finance operations have directly supported over 350,000 MSMEs; helped generate 15 million tonnes of annual handling capacity in ports; and contributed to the development of 750 MW of renewable capacity generation.