VIENNA, The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$20 million public sector loan agreement with Burundi to co-finance a project that will improve food security, expand access to marketplaces and social services, and strengthen the resilience of agricultural production systems.
More than 700,000 people in the central plateau region are expected to benefit.
Burundi is ranked 185th out of 189 countries on the 2020 United Nations Development Programme’s human development index, and eight out of ten people in the country live below the poverty line.
The OPEC Fund loan will strengthen agricultural infrastructure and support the development of new marshlands and watersheds. Work will include rehabilitating 150 km of rural access roads and building storage facilities, as well as establishing irrigation perimeters.
The project, ‘Agricultural Production Intensification and Vulnerability Reduction Project in Burundi’, is co-financed by the government of Burundi, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme. It supports Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1, which aims to end poverty in all its forms; and SDG 2, which focuses on ending hunger and improving food security and nutrition, as well as promoting sustainable agriculture.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said, “Improving food and income security are critical development priorities in Burundi, where 90 percent of the population derive their livelihoods from agriculture. This loan will help to create economic opportunities for small farmers and communities, and improve food and income security for rural households. We are pleased to continue to support Burundi’s development priorities and continue our long partnership.”
The OPEC Fund has worked with Burundi since its inception 45 years ago and committed close to US$232 million in public sector financing, including the present loan. The majority of the financing supports the agriculture and transportation sectors.
OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC; including the UAE. It is the development finance institution established as a channel of aid to developing countries.
Source: Emirates News Agency