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SPECIAL FEATURE SPECIA


partners in line with the OPEC Fund’s mandate. Understanding the ambitions and goals of our clients and the need for responsiveness, especially in these COVID-19 times, we continue to scale- up and adapt our funding to support critical sectors in our beneficiary countries. This has been done in several ways, including supporting MSMEs’ access to finance through financial intermediaries by providing the latter with much-needed capital and liquidity, addressing bottlenecks in the food supply chain through trade finance instruments and providing long-term critical infrastructure support. “We finance private sector projects


with well-defined development objectives in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Develop- ment,” adds Alnassar.


“Since launching, for example,


we have supported over 350,000 MSMEs; directly generated 304 MW of electricity capacity (and contributed to 3.9 GW capacity generation in total); and working with partners, we have supported annual airport passenger traffic of 29 million people. “Through the trade finance facility,


we support private businesses and governments to import and export strategically important commodities and capital goods,” he adds. “Our trade finance operations help to strengthen regional integration, economic diversification and value chains. In 2020, we supported several projects in the agricultural sector, while through our numerous risk-sharing programs we have facilitated international trade for over 7,500 beneficiaries over the years. Cumulatively, since the two finance





Since launching we have supported over 350,000 MSMEs; directly generated 304 MW of electricity capacity (and contributed to 3.9 GW capacity generation in total); and working with partners, we have supported annual airport passenger traffic of 29 million people.


Tareq Alnassar Assistant Director-General, Private Sector and Trade Finance


mechanisms were established, nearly 300 projects have benefited from US$3.74 billion of private sector finance, while 200 projects have received US$4.24 billion in trade finance. Nearly 50 percent of operations


are located on the African continent, 30 percent in Asia, 15 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean and 5 percent in Europe. More than one-


third of approvals support the financial services and banking sector, one-quarter is earmarked to strengthen energy generation, distribution and efficiency while the rest is split between sectors including agriculture, communications, health and transport and storage.


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PHOTOS: Ollyy / Shutterstock.com (brdge); GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com (figure)


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