Minister lauds OFID in executing global sustainable development
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.