26 July 2005
OPEC Fund Extends Grants Worth US$4.6 Million
(Re-issued as received.)
VIENNA, 26 July (UN Information Service) -- The OPEC Fund for International Development today signed five grant agreements, totalling US$4.6 million, for projects in the social, health and agriculture sectors. The recipient organizations are the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the League of Arab States (LAS), the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and the International Centre for Potato Research (CIP).
The US$4 million grant to UNICEF will co-finance a joint OPEC Fund/UNICEF Mother/Child Global Project to Fight HIV/AIDS. The initiative aims to assist orphans, street children and vulnerable mothers and will concentrate on three areas: care, protection and support for orphans; HIV prevention and life skills development for street children; and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. The grant will be drawn from the Fund’s Special Grant Account for Combating HIV/AIDS.
A grant of US$250,000 will support phase two of the Pan Arab Project for Family Health (PAPFAM). Spearheaded by the League of Arab States, the project seeks to improve family and reproductive health in 16 Arab countries, by developing mechanisms for the implementation of effective health policies and programmes.
The remaining three grants will support agricultural research being carried out by member institutes of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): US$150,000 was extended to ICARDA to co-finance a major regional research project aimed at institutionalizing and scaling-up participatory barley breeding in West Asia and North Africa; ICRISAT received US$100,000 for a four-year project to promote and improve groundnut production among poor farmers in Asia; and US$100,000 was extended to CIP for a capacity-building project designed to enhance potato crop management in Latin America and Africa.
The agreements were signed, on behalf of the OPEC Fund, by Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General, and by Ms. Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF; Dr. Pamela Anderson, Director-General of CIP; Prof. Dr. Adel El-Beltagy, Director-General of ICARDA; Dr. William Dar, Director-General of ICRISAT; and Ambassador Dr. Mikhail Wehbe, Head of the LAS Mission to Vienna.