OFID to strengthen food security, water supplies in Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi

VIENNA, The OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, has signed public sector loan agreements with Cote d’Ivoire and Malawi to help boost socio-economic development and living standards.

The agreements, totaling US$34 million, were signed by OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish, Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to Austria, Roger A Kacou, and Ambassador of Malawi to Germany, Michael B Kamphambe Nkhoma.

Malawi’s US$15 million loan will co-finance the Karonga Town Water Supply Project, which aims to expand the capacity of potable water supplies in Malawi’s northern region, where demand is outpacing supply. An estimated 184,000 residents will be able to enjoy improved health and livelihoods. The project is also being financed by the Malawian government and the Arab Bank for Economic Development for Africa.

Al-Herbish said the loan represented OFID’s third involvement in helping strengthen the country’s water sector, which supports the government’s 2016-2022 Growth and Development Strategy with the view to reduce poverty through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development.

Ambassador Nkhoma expressed his thanks and appreciation to OFID for its support of Malawi’s water and sanitation sector.

A US$19 million loan to Cote d’Ivoire will help fund the Agricultural Value Chains Development Programme with the overall objective of stimulating economic growth and reducing poverty. This will be achieved through the repair and installation of rice and mango processing/packaging systems, upgrading of rural roads, development of farmland and institutional strengthening, and improving producers’ linkages with export and urban markets, among other works.

In turn, living conditions and incomes will improve for around 180,000 people. The government of Cote d’Ivoire and the International Fund for Agricultural Development are also co-financing the programme.

Al-Herbish said the project would help extremely vulnerable households presently coping with food insecurity and reiterated OFID’s continued interest in strengthening its cooperation with his country.

Ambassador Kacou thanked the Director-General and expressed his “deep gratitude” on behalf of the Ivorian people for OFID’s “efforts and constant commitment” to supporting his country’s socio-economic growth and development.

Source: Emirates News Agency