OFID considers grant financing to be an important instrument of development. As such, its grant program supports initiatives aimed at enhancing livelihoods by addressing challenges in areas such as education, energy poverty, food security, public health, water supply and sanitation, which may not be directly funded through other financing windows.
OFID’s grant program includes technical assistance for small-scale social schemes, sponsorship for research and other intellectual pursuits, and emergency relief aid. In addition, OFID has set up special programs that respond to the urgent and unique challenges presented by HIV/AIDS, Palestine and energy poverty. The latter is a particular priority and complements the financing provided through other mechanisms in support of OFID’s Energy for the Poor Initiative.
Further readng: Article published in the January 2016 issue of the OFID Quarterly Grant Program: Small in scale, big in impact
See also: OFID's Grant Program: A catalyst for development
As of December 31, 2015, OFID had provided some US$616.2m in outright grants across all programs, working with UN agencies and a host of international and national NGOs, among many other partners, to meet the needs of the vulnerable, marginalized and very poor. This figure includes grants approved through obsolete programs and special contributions to other organizations such as the Common Fund for Commodities and IFAD.
Grants approved in 2015
In 2015, US$18m was approved through OFID’s various grant programs for a total of 52 operations in some of the most disadvantaged countries of the world. In keeping with the program’s strategic focus, more than two-thirds (68.7%) of these resources was concentrated on the energy, health and education sectors.
- Under technical assistance, US$4.9m went chiefly for activities targeting education needs, including vocational training for women.
- Seven grants totaling US$4.6m were drawn from the special program for Palestine in support of a broad range of interventions designed to improve the quality of life in marginalized communities.
- Approvals under the energy poverty program amounted to US$4m and involve the provision of modern energy services, all of them based on renewable solutions and benefiting 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
- Action to contain the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS comprised the provision of US$2m toward three projects,
- Research grants totaling US$1.6m was committed mostly to sponsor conferences and similar events, but also to help fund a number of small-scale education and capacity-building schemes.
- The remaining $0.8m was given in emergency aid.
Also noteworthy in 2015 was the successful completion of 56 projects financed with US$18.9m of previously approved grant resources and benefiting 46 countries.
In Palestine alone, 28 projects with a combined financing of US$8.9m reached a satisfactory conclusion.