e are the OPEC Fund for International Development. On January 28, 2020, we turned 44 years of age. The time feels right to be

more confident about sharing our work; to claim a little of the limelight. In recent months, we have been implementing our new strategy, which focuses us even more squarely on maximizing our development impact. We are becoming more agile and responsive in support of our partner countries. For more than four decades, senior government officials from Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela have met in Vienna numerous times each year. Their objective? To choose which essential development projects to finance in underserved countries and communities other than their own. This may seem unusual, especially given today’s

current trend of self-interest. Little fuss or fanfare has been made about these meetings. Their low- key nature is partly a result of it always having been this way (since 1976, anyway). The meetings have led to the approval of more than US$25 billion to support sustainable social and economic advancement in some 134 countries. The OPEC Fund is dedicated to improving

people’s lives by providing public, private and trade sector financing, as well as grants, to support sustainable development. We work hard to ensure our projects – whether we’re financing the building of a road in Bangladesh, supporting smallholder farmers in Senegal or helping to eradicate diseases in Ethiopia – improve people’s social and economic opportunities, advance environmental goals (such as better access to clean modern energy) and strengthen human and institutional capacity. All developing countries, with the exception of our own members, are in principle eligible for our assistance. Environmental and social considerations have been at the heart of the OPEC Fund’s operations for more than four decades – see our special features about renewable energy and Burkina Faso on the following pages as just two of many examples. By providing affordable finance to countries and regions that often find funds difficult to secure, we are helping solve development challenges in a market-supportive manner, while promoting cooperation with and among vulnerable parts of our world. We believe that all this – as well as enabling a diverse group of member countries to work together for the global good, despite their own priorities – is worthy of quiet celebration. Just like our 44th birthday.

PHOTO: Vladimir Zhoga/ 5

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