Thu 23-07-2020 10:03 AM
VIENNA, 23rd July, 2020 (WAM) -- The OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, has extended three loans to support COVID-19 response efforts in Belarus, Belize and El Salvador. The loans, totaling US$45 million, form part of the OPEC Fund’s US$1 billion commitment to collective and coordinated COVID-19-related assistance for developing countries.
A loan of US$20 million to Belarus will support the Public Healthcare Emergency Response Programme, focused on strengthening hospitals, clinics and healthcare centres, nationwide. A loan of US$10 million will help the government of Belize extend its COVID-19 Food Assistance Programme in both urban and rural areas, and provide hygiene and cleaning supplies to vulnerable communities.
A US$15 million loan to the Republic of El Salvador will support government investment in hospital equipment, medical supplies, training for health personnel, and communication and health education efforts.
Commenting on the loans, OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, said, "We need to act quickly to support developing countries as they respond to COVID-19. These three loans form part of the OPEC Fund’s fast-track response to the pandemic, which mobilizes funds quickly for those who need them most."
The fund has provided development finance to Belize and El Salvador since the late 1970s. The loan to Belarus represents the first time the organisation and the Eastern European country have worked together.
OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC; including the United Arab Emirates. It is the development finance institution established as a channel of aid to developing countries.