OPEC Fund to provide $50mn loan to support SMEs in Paraguay

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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OPEC Fund extends $30mn loan
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The OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) is providing a $50 million loan to Banco Continental for on-lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural and livestock sectors.

The investment is part of the OPEC Fund’s Food Security Action Plan and will supply the financing needs of farmers, small agricultural and livestock SMEs, which are key for Paraguay’s economic sustainability and employment.

OPEC Fund Director-General Mr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said that, “Global food security is a priority area for the OPEC Fund and it is critical to support agribusinesses in food exporting countries such as Paraguay.”

“Building on our strong partnership with Banco Continental, we are reaching businesses in this vital sector for Paraguay’s economy, ensuring that they have access to funds, increase links to global value chains, and contribute to the economic sustainability in Paraguay,” Mr. Alkhalifa further added.

In 2022, the OPEC Fund unveiled its Food Security Action Plan, dedicating $1 billion over the next three years to offer immediate assistance to cover the import costs of basic commodities such as seeds, grains, and fertilizers, while supporting medium and long-term security of food supply in partner countries.

Recently, OPEC Fund entered into a new cooperation agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), stepping up their delivery of support for development and transition.

The OPEC Fund is offering $2 million to support the identification, design, and development of joint projects in common countries of operations. The OPEC Fund-EBRD Project Preparation Facility aims to cover early-stage costs, enhance project preparation and help make projects suitable for financing, as per the reports.

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