OFID Ministerial Council agrees additional resources

PR13/2011 June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011, Vienna, Austria

Meeting in its 32nd Session in Vienna, OFID’s highest policy-making body, the Ministerial Council, agreed to increase the institution’s resources in an additional amount of US$1 billion. The move comes in response to the growing and urgent needs of the developing nations in the wake of the global financial crisis, and as a renewed gesture of South-South solidarity on the part of OPEC Member Countries with their less privileged neighbours.

Subject to Member Countries taking all the necessary internal legal procedures, these additional resources will enable OFID to step up its contribution to development over the next decade, in particular to the global Energy for the Poor initiative and accompanying efforts to achieve universal energy access by 2030. It is the first fresh commitment to the institution in 30 years.

Addressing the Council, OFID Director-General, Suleiman J. Al-Herbish said that the additional financial support would strengthen the institution’s aspirations to discharge its mandate and play a flagship role in the cooperation strategy of OPEC Member Countries. “The fresh funding will provide the needed impetus to our institution to buttress its successes and drive forward its plans,” he declared.

Held once a year, the Ministerial Council of OFID brings together the Finance Ministers and other High-Level Representatives of OFID Member Countries to review achievements and set the future policies of the institution. Today’s 32nd Session elected the State of Qatar to the Chair, represented by H.E. Mr. Yousef Hussain Kamal, Minister of Finance, and the State of Kuwait as Vice-Chair, represented by H.E. Mr. Mustafa Al-Shamali, Minister of Finance, for a period of one year.

Other matters considered by the Council included a review of OFID’s financial statements for fiscal 2010 and approval of the Annual Report for the same year. As part of the proceedings, the Council witnessed the presentation of OFID’s Annual Award for Development (2011) to Dr. Mazen Al-Hajri of the United Arab Emirates. The philanthropist is a pioneer in the field of ear, nose and throat medicine and is known for his charitable work, performing countless cochlear implant operations on Palestinian children, who have suffered hearing damage. Dr. Al-Hajri is renowned in the Middle-East healthcare arena and is widely recognized amongst his peers for his dedication in operating on children and training surgeons in Gaza.

On the sidelines of the Ministerial Council Meeting, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish proudly announced the OFID Scholarship Award winners for 2011-2012, who are Mr. Anthony Bayega, a 26 year old from Uganda, who will pursue a Master's degree in Biomedical and Molecular Science Research at King's College, UK. The second winner of the award is Mr. Didier Kadjo, a 30 year old from Cote d'Ivoire who plans to study a Master's in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, USA.

The Council Session also recognized the 35th Anniversary of OFID, the celebration of which has thus far included a number of activities, including Member States and Staff art exhibitions.

The next (33rd) Session of the Ministerial Council will be held in Vienna, Austria on June 14, 2012.