MANAGUA – Cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean has become a priority for the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) as part of its objectives to improve the standard of living of the population of the Western Hemisphere.
“Since the beginning of the year we are giving more attention to Latin America. Latin America is always at the center of our activities,” OFID director-general Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish told Efe on Wednesday at the end of his trip to Nicaragua, where he signed a multi-million dollar loan for the improvement of roads in the Central American country.
Al-Herbish said this year he has visited Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Nicaragua, and his colleagues have made a trip to Argentina to support infrastructure and energy projects.
“Next year I will probably travel to Honduras and Colombia,” he added.
He explained that the World Bank leadership will be meeting next year in Lima, Peru, and the OFID intends to make the most of the opportunity to connect or visit other countries in the region.
The OFID has decided to focus more on developing countries, which makes it likely that four or five Latin American nations will be given greater priority, he affirmed, without specifying which ones.
Al-Herbish also recalled that in June the OFID’s Ministerial Council approved the re-admission of Ecuador to the organization after 22 years, making it the second OFID member from the region besides Venezuela.
With Ecuador, the OFID once again has 13 contributing members: the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Gabon.
Last year, the OFID approved financial aid worth a record $1.5 billion while $1.1 billion were disbursed for development projects.
Created in 1976, the OFID is a multilateral financial institution oriented towards providing assistance to low income countries to eradicate poverty and generate economic growth.