OPEC Fund Governing Board Holds 109th Session



December 14, 2004
Vienna, Austria
  • The Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development today convened its 109th Session at the Fund's headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
  1. Following adoption of the meeting's agenda, the Director-General of the Fund, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, reporting to the Board on the Fund's activities, indicated that on a cumulative basis, and as of the end of October 2004, US$5,125.9 million had been approved in loans to the public sector and US$3,646.8 million disbursed. These loans, which were extended for project and program financing and balance of payments support, as well as within the framework of the HIPC Initiative, number 950. All major economic and social sectors have benefited from the Fund's assistance, including agriculture, transportation, health, education, water supply and sewerage, industry, energy, etc.

    The Director-General further indicated that a total of 60 operations had been approved under the Fund's Private Sector Facility. As of the end of October 2004, cumulative commitments through this window totaled US$299 million.

    In addition, the Fund has approved a total of 684 grants in support of various activities in the areas of technical assistance, food aid, emergency relief and research. Cumulative grant commitments, as of the end of October 2004, amounted to US$315.9 million, of which US$214.8 million has been disbursed. Moreover, the Fund has contributed, in grant form, substantial amounts to the resources of other international development institutions benefiting the South; these contributions total US$971.8 million, most of which has been disbursed. To date, the Fund has provided financial assistance to 111 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe.

    In today's session, the Board approved 16 public sector project loans worth a total of US$157.388 million and detailed as follows:

    Country Project
    (US$ million)
    Angola Luanda Hospital Expansion and Rehabilitation
    Armenia Rural Areas Economic Development
    Bosnia and
    Housing Reconstruction
    Congo Republic Blanche Gomes Maternity Hospital
    Jordan Agricultural Resources Management II
    Kenya Emali-Oloitokitok Road
    Kyrgyzstan Southern Corridor Road Rehabilitation
    Nepal Community Managed Irrigated Agriculture Sector
    Niger Say-Tapoa Road Rehabilitation
    Paraguay Integration Corridors Rehabilitation
    Philippines Angat Water Supply
    Rwanda Gitarama-Ngororero-Mukamira Road
    Samoa Petroleum Bulk Storage Facility Phase III
    Tanzania Poverty Reduction
    Turkey Develi Environmental and Irrigation
    Turkmenistan Archman Hydrotherapy Centre

    All of the above loans have a maturity of 20 years, including a grace period of five years, and the majority carries interest at rates ranging from 1% to 1.75%.
    The projects will be cofinanced with the governments of the beneficiary countries and with other donors including three OPEC aid institutions – the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa , the Islamic Development Bank and the Saudi Fund for Development. Other contributors include the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Fund, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Andean Development Corporation.

  2. The Board also approved three grants directed at financing activities in the social and health sectors. They total US$2.075 million (see press releases no. 110/2004 – 112/2004:
    • US$600,000 to help finance polio eradication efforts in Africa;
    • US$200,000 in support of an ongoing project to strengthen the indigenous Mayangna population in Nicaragua; and
    • US$1.275 million to provide assistance to various civil society organizations in Palestine; to be drawn from the Special Grant Account for Palestine;

  3. Within the framework of the HIV/AIDS Special Account, the Board also approved a grant of US$2.25 million for a joint OPEC Fund/UNESCO Project on Mitigation of the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Asia through Education (see press release no. 109/2004).
  4. The Board also discussed the Fund's Private Sector Facility: eight new private sector investment proposals were approved and a number of pipeline proposals were considered.
  5. Also in this session: the Board reviewed financial and budget matters and approved the administrative budget for 2005; examined a concept paper on the Corporate Plan; endorsed the Fund’s Public Information Campaign and approved plans for a 30th Anniversary observance along with related supplementary budget; assessed public sector operations under active consideration by the Fund, and reviewed a paper on desertification in developing countries.
  6. The next Governing Board Session will take place in Vienna, Austria on March 15, 2005.