The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) signed a $50mn loan with Tanzania. This is to finance the ‘Fourth Tanzania Poverty Reduction Project’. The project will build rural infrastructure to boost economic opportunities. Besides, improving access to social services for more than 900,000 people.
Although Tanzania made progress in reducing poverty over the past decade, around 26mn people; close to half the total population; live on less than $1.90 per day. The Tanzanian government has launched a number of programs to tackle this challenge; including social safety net initiatives and three previous phases (also co-financed by the OPEC Fund) of the new project.
Phase four will build infrastructure for education, health, water, agriculture and transportation. Besides, creating income-generating activities in animal husbandry and vegetable growing. In addition to employment opportunities.
Work will be in the Arusha; Mwanza; Geita; and Simiyu regions in northern Tanzania and the Njombe region in the south.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa also said, “The OPEC Fund committed to helping Tanzania reduce poverty and improve socio-economic conditions for many years.
“The present loan will also help communities to help themselves by building capacity, strengthening food security and household incomes, and improving access to social amenities.
“We have also a strong partnership with Tanzania and look forward to seeing more progress on key development indicators in the near future.”
OFID and Tanzania have a partnership that spans 45 years. During this time; the organization committed more than $370mn for 38 public sector operations; (including the present project) across a wide range of sectors.
Transportation is one vital sector receiving OPEC Fund support. A recent $26mn commitment from the organization is financing the Kazilambwa-Chagu Road Upgrading Project.
The road is also part of the 1,260 km east-west corridor; which links Tanzania’s two major ports of Dar Es Salaam in the east to Kigoma in the west.
Improved connectivity will also help increase agricultural and tourism-related activities, and facilitate trade with neighboring Burundi and DR Congo.
OFID also established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC. It is the development finance institution; established as a channel of aid to developing countries.