OPEC Fund Provides $50 Million to Ensure Food Security in Uzbekistan

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The OPEC Fund for International Development is contributing $50 million to a syndicated trade finance facility along with the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). The total $100 million facility will improve food security in Uzbekistan by supporting the trade of critical agricultural products, the Fund said in a statement.

Uzbekistan is a net importer of essential goods such as grain, vegetables, and sugar, and nearly 40% of the country’s food supply originates in the Black Sea region. Following the global repercussions of war in Ukraine, including higher food and commodity prices, food security has become a major concern for Uzbekistan, the Fund emphasised.

The loan package will help ensure the sustainable supply of essential foods and agricultural products in the local market at affordable prices.

"Addressing the global food security crisis is a priority for the OPEC Fund, and our support to Uzbekistan is aligned with our Food Security Action Plan. Securing international trade in challenging times is key to ensuring that people receive essential supplies and to keep critical supply chains for businesses operational," OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said.

The OPEC Fund announced in June 2022 a $1 billion OPEC Fund Food Security Action Plan for 2022–2025. The plan supports financing the import costs of basic commodities such as seeds, grains, and fertilisers while promoting the medium- and long-term security of food supply in partner countries. The facility is channelling public and private sector loans, as well as grants to developing countries hit hardest by disruptions and price hikes following the war in Ukraine.

To date, the OPEC Fund has provided close to $600 million in financing aligned with Uzbekistan’s sustainable growth agenda and the OPEC Fund’s country partnership strategy. The OPEC Fund’s public and private sector financing, supported by grants, has helped the sustainable development of the energy, water, sanitation, agriculture, transport, education, and finance sectors and includes support for small and medium enterprises.

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Source: AKIPRESS.COM

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