Min­is­ter lauds OFID in ex­e­cut­ing global sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Anas Al-Saleh ex­tolled on Thurs­day the vi­tal role by OPEC Fund for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (OFID) in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs) across the globe.

Speak­ing at the con­clu­sion of the 38th ses­sion of the OFID’S Min­is­te­rial Coun­cil meet­ing, Saleh said the fund es­tab­lished in 1970s is com­mit­ted to com­plet­ing the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment. The meet­ing of OPEC mem­ber states’ fi­nance min­is­ters con­cluded yes­ter­day wit­nessed the ap­proval of fi­nan­cial state­ments and an­nual re­ports of the fund for 2016, and the re­view of OFID’s per­for­mance and ac­com­plish­ments, he said. The OFID’s re­serve hit $7 bil­lion and Kuwait’s con­tri­bu­tions to the fund’s ac­tiv­i­ties reached 11 per­cent, he noted.

Asked about reper­cus­sions of a drop in oil prices and chal­lenges fac­ing some coun­tries in the re­gion, Saleh said the fund’s re­serve help over­come all chal­lenges and achieve its de­vel­op­men­tal role as well. The min­is­ter stressed that he is proud of vi­sions of the Kuwaiti youth work­ing at the fund that aim to achieve the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs), in­clud­ing en­ergy, food and wa­ter se­cu­rity.

Mean­while, OFID Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral Suleiman Al-Har­bash said the fund’s min­is­te­rial coun­cil com­prises the fi­nance min­is­ters and other se­nior of­fi­cials of OFID mem­ber states. It meets once a year.

“OFID has evolved over four decades. To­day we are both a trusted global lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion and a ma­jor player in the in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment arena,” Har­bash added. By the end of 2016, through the ex­pert man­age­ment of paid-in re­sources of just over $2.4 bil­lion, the fund had com­mit­ted more than $20 bil­lion in sup­port of over 3,600 de­vel­op­ment op­er­a­tions across 134 coun­tries, he said, adding that this is a re­mark­able achieve­ment con­sid­er­ing its mod­est size.

“The jour­ney has been ex­tra­or­di­nary. We have em­braced new fi­nanc­ing in­stru­ments and mod­els, built a more di­verse part­ner­ship net­work and, oc­ca­sion­ally, as our An­nual Re­port shows, we have even ven­tured into un­charted ter­ri­tory,” he said. He pointed out this is shown by the sub­or­di­nated debt fa­cil­i­ties provided to banks in Hon­duras and Nicaragua; the first of their kind un­der the Pri­vate Sec­tor fa­cil­ity. “For all that we have achieved in 2016- and in­deed over the past 40 years - we are mind­ful that noth­ing would have been pos­si­ble with­out the trust of our Mem­ber Coun­tries.” Dur­ing the meet­ing, the aQ’on Jay Pro­gram of the Foun­da­tion for In­te­gral De­vel­op­ment (FUDI) in Gu­atemala has been an­nounced.

The pro­gram will re­ceive $100,000 from OFID in sup­port of its ef­forts to im­prove ma­ter­nal and child health and nu­tri­tion. The coun­cil also an­nounced the win­ners of the 2017 OFID Schol­ar­ship Award Pro­gram. This year, more than 20,000 stu­dents from OFID part­ner coun­tries ap­plied for a chance to com­plete their higher-level univer­sity stud­ies with OFID’s sup­port. Ten young and re­mark­able in­di­vid­u­als were se­lected from Colom­bia, Egypt, Guyana, Mon­go­lia, Rwanda (two stu­dents), Su­dan, Viet­nam, Ye­men and Zim­babwe. Since 2006, OFID has sup­ported 40 out­stand­ing young peo­ple to at­tend top ranking uni­ver­si­ties in­clud­ing Ox­ford, Har­vard and Cam­bridge. —KUNA


VIENNA: Kuwait’s Fi­nance Min­is­ter Anas Al-Saleh (left) par­tic­i­pates in the 38th ses­sion of the OFID’S Min­is­te­rial Coun­cil meet­ing.

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