Austria-based intergovernmental development finance institution, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a $30 million loan agreement under its Food Security Action Plan with Banco Sudameris, the leading commercial bank in Paraguay.
Paraguay is a significant producer and exporter of agricultural and livestock products such as soy, wheat, corn, and meat.
According to the statement, “Responding to the current disruptions in global food supplies, the 40 percent of the loan will be allocated to support farmers and agribusinesses.”
The remaining 60 percent of the loan will finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to promote job creation and economic recovery from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Paraguay, SMEs are the building blocks of the economy, representing 97 percent of all businesses and creating more than three-quarters of employment.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said that, “Agribusiness is a vital sector for economic stability and employment in Paraguay. Building on our partnership with Banco Sudameris we facilitate SMEs’ access to funds, addressing liquidity needs, protecting jobs, and ensuring business continuity. Safeguarding food security and increasing the resilience of the agriculture sector is a key priority for the OPEC Fund.”
This is the second facility the OPEC Fund has extended to Banco Sudameris. A previous $20 million loan in 2018 was on-lent to 90 SMEs in agriculture, livestock, and industry services.
“The new loan agreement is aligned with several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – SDG 1: No poverty; SDG 2: Zero hunger; SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth; and SDG10: Reduced inequality,” as per the statement.