VIENNA, 24th December, 2020 (WAM) — The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$20 million development loan agreement with Malawi to improve the livelihoods of around 1.3 million people living in rural areas.

The financing will support the ‘Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship’ programme, aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 2 on food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture.

The objective is to strengthen value chains and improve the resilience and capacity of Malawi’s smallholder farmers and rural organisations.

The programme will provide better infrastructure (including new roads) and access to rural financial solutions, as well as enhanced partnerships with the private sector and inclusive business development services. Climate smart interventions will help combat land degradation and improve agricultural productivity.

The programme supports Malawi’s National Agriculture Policy, which intends to achieve sustainable agricultural transformation to drive growth in the agricultural sector, expanding incomes for farm households, improving food and nutrition security for all Malawians, and boosting agricultural exports.

The OPEC Fund is co-financing the programme with the International Fund for Agricultural Development as well as private sector enterprises, beneficiaries and the government of Malawi. To date, the OPEC Fund has approved 22 loans in Malawi for a total of more than US$207 million. The approved finance relates to operations in the health, agriculture, transport, education, and water and sanitation sectors.

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.

 

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