VIENNA, June 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The second OPEC Fund Development Forum in Vienna concluded with solid outcomes and financing commitments from development partners who came together to promote responses to global challenges such as availability of financing, food security and climate change.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Alkhalifa said: “In its second year the OPEC Fund Development Forum again provided a platform for increased collaboration and decisive action from our partners. We have demonstrated that we are ambitious and that we deliver. We remain firmly committed to addressing pressing global issues and to extending our resources in support of sustainable development.”
Signings and announcements during the Development Forum included:
- The OPEC Fund signed a US$20 million loan agreement with Access Bank Botswana to extend financial support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the country. At least 30 percent of the funds will be specifically directed towards women-owned small businesses and 70 percent will be utilized for on-lending to local companies to facilitate their access to finance.
- The OPEC Fund signed an agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to join the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform, a global initiative that seeks to mobilize funds for renewable energy investments. The OPEC Fund plans to support the platform with up to US$250 million sovereign and non-sovereign loan financing until 2030 in support of projects in partner countries.
- The OPEC Fund and the United Nations World Food Program signed a cooperation agreement to intensify joint efforts to enhance global food security and build climate resilient food systems. The collaboration aims to scale-up adaptation to address climate risks across food systems, to promote climate-smart and innovative agriculture solutions and accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 2 “Zero Hunger”.
- The OPEC Fund and the Asian Development Bank signed a co-financing agreement to support Thailand’s new economic model for sustainable development. OPEC Fund’s US$500,000 technical assistance grant will support the strengthening of the country’s bio-circular green economy by helping to identify investment opportunities and promoting growth in key sectors
- The OPEC Fund published its first ever Development Effectiveness Report, a review of the impact of the institution’s projects and the results of its engagements, and its Annual Report, presenting its delivery on 2022 with US$1.6 billion new commitments in 48 projects.
Addressing global development challenges under the over-arching theme “Driving Resilience & Equity”, the Development Forum brought together government leaders, ministers from OPEC Fund member and partner countries, heads of the Arab Coordination Group institutions, senior officials of multilateral development banks and international organizations as well as private sector representatives. The event included panels on topics such as “Towards a Transformative Development Model”, “Regional Collaboration as a Catalyst for Scalable Solutions” and “Implementing Policies and Partnerships that Prioritize People and Planet”. It also featured spotlight sessions on climate change and food security, providing a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in critical areas and highlighting the need for innovative solutions and collaborative action.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$24 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$190 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Outlook Positive by S&P. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.
Botswana Access Bank Acting Managing Director Musonda Chishimba OPEC Fund Director General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa