By: Pie Kamau |
The OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Alkhalifa signed a public sector loan agreements totaling US$85m with beneficiary countries Benin, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
This is in line with the OPEC Fund’s goal of supporting developing countries – particularly low-income countries – around the globe.
In addition, the OPEC Fund signed a framework agreement with the World Bank Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to strengthen collaboration and enhance development effectiveness across common MENA beneficiary countries. The aim is to further reduce poverty, boost prosperity and promote socioeconomic progress in the region.
The public sector loan signings were as follows:
US$10m for Agricultural Development and Market Access Support. To boost the food security, nutrition and incomes of smallholder farmers and their families, especially women and youth, in seven administrative regions.
US$25m to upgrade the Konia-Voinjama Road, and to pave a 64 km road in northern Liberia, improving the transport of agricultural goods and increasing food security and incomes. Dr Alkhalifa also signed an agreement with the Minister that sets the framework for the commencement of private sector operations in the country.
US$10m to support the Agricultural Development and Rural Entrepreneurship Program – Phase II (PADAER II). This program will construct infrastructure for small producers to increase yields and create more jobs, with a focus on women and youth.
US$20m to support the Development of Agricultural Production Areas (PDZP/PNDL). To raise yields, reduce post-harvest losses and facilitate farmers’ access to inputs by developing agricultural value chains and capacity building. Also planned is the upgrading of 550 km of rural access roads.
US$20m for the education sector, to reconstruct and rehabilitate four public secondary schools, a teacher training college and a polytechnic to ease overcrowding and accommodate rising enrolments.