Vienna, Austria, 30 August 2016–OPEC Secretary General HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo met with HE Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), on 26 August at the Fund’s headquarters in the Austrian capital.

Mr. Al-Herbish congratulated Mr. Barkindo on his new position as Secretary General. He also thanked him for the good coverage that OPEC has provided of OFID in the last edition of the Organization’s magazine, the OPEC Bulletin. “I am very happy and pleased to see you back in Vienna leading OPEC”, Mr. Al-Herbish said.

The Secretary General thanked Mr. Al-Herbish for his hard work in leading OFID and implementing the various programmes the Fund has to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in developing countries. “OPEC is proud of the achievements of OFID”, said Mr. Barkindo. He also said that he intends to work closely with OFID and its Director-General, who has extensive experience in the work of the Fund.

Mr. Al-Herbish provided the Secretary General with a detailed explanation of OFID’s different programmes and focus areas. He described its participation in projects, particularly in the areas of public and private sector lending, trade finance facility, and grant operations. He also spoke at length about OFID’s ‘Energy for the Poor Initiative”, which was started in 2008 in recognition of the link between human development and energy use.

Mr. Al-Herbish explained how, through his leadership during his tenure, the Fund has managed to secure a total of around US$ 1 billion from Member Countries to support the work of the Fund. Total resources of OFID as of the end of 2015 amounted to US$ 6,863 million.

OFID was established by OPEC Member Countries in 1976 as a “collective channel of aid” for developing countries. It works in cooperation with partners and the international community, and provides financing for the development of infrastructure, the provision of social services, and the promotion of trade and competitiveness. So far, 134 countries worldwide have benefited from OFID’s financial assistance.

Earlier this year, OFID celebrated the 40th anniversary since its founding. In commemoration of this milestone, it dedicated the current year to addressing the plight of refugees.