The OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) provides 18 million US dollars to support inclusive education and boost connectivity in Tajikistan.  

The Government of Tajikistan, represented Faiziddin Qahhorzoda, Finance Minister of Tajikistan, and the OPEC Fund, represented by the Fund CEO Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, singed two loan agreements totaling 18 million US dollars here on December 20.  

According to the press center of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), an US$8 million loan will support the implementation of the National Education Development Strategy of Tajikistan Project and another US$10 million loan will co-finance the Guliston-Farkhor-Panj-Dousti Road Rehabilitation Project.

The National Education Development Strategy of Tajikistan Project is aimed at improving the educational environment and development of the education system in Tajikistan through updating school infrastructure and expanding access to it, as well as organizing the system of continuous professional training for teachers and introducing the national system of assessing the educational achievements.  

The OPEC Fund notes that the National Education Development Strategy of Tajikistan Project provides access to education for almost 17,000 students in Tajikistan and is co-financed with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).  It aims to create a high quality and accessible educational system based on modern infrastructure and innovative technologies, providing students with adequate school buildings, improved learning equipment, access to upgraded technology and WASH facilities, thus improving the overall learning experience for both teachers and students.

The Guliston-Farkhor-Panj-Dousti Road Rehabilitation Project, according to MoF press center, is aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of the country’s road network and contributing to development of the country’s international transit potential.    

Meanwhile, the OPEC Fund says the Guliston-Farkhor-Panj-Dousti Reconstruction Project will finance the upgrading of a 30 km road section.  Tajikistan is a landlocked country and people rely on roads for domestic and international connectivity.  The Guliston-Farkhor-Panj-Dousti road provides a vital internal connection between the south and southeast parts of the country and allows transit traffic to the Afghanistan-Tajikistan-China road corridor.  The upgraded road will contribute to improving local and regional connectivity and integration with neighboring countries, ensure safe movement of goods and people, and enhance the overall socio-economic development in the country.

According to the OPEC Fund, its Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “Building modern social and physical infrastructure is crucial for the future socio-economic development in Tajikistan.  We are proud to support the Government in its efforts to improve access to modern education and increase connectivity in the country, creating opportunities for a better life for students and citizens. We are committed and ready to further expand our long-standing partnership for the development of critical infrastructure.”

To date, the OPEC Fund has reportedly approved 17 projects in Tajikistan, supporting transport, health, education, energy and water sectors.

This year marks the 26th anniversary of OFID’s cooperation with Tajikistan.  The majority of OFID’s support has gone toward the country’s transportation sector.  

In 1997, OFID began supporting Tajikistan’s health sector.  OFID, in particular, has helped equip the Danghara central hospital via two loans totaling US$8.15 million.

Established by the member nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1976, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) is an intergovernmental development finance institution.  The OPEC Fund was conceived at the Conference of the Sovereigns and Heads of State of OPEC Member Countries, which was held in Algiers, Algeria, in March 1975.  A Solemn Declaration of the Conference “reaffirmed the natural solidarity which unites OPEC countries with other developing countries in their struggle to overcome underdevelopment”, and called for measures to strengthen cooperation between these countries.

The OPEC Fund's objective is to reinforce financial cooperation between OPEC member nations and other developing countries, by providing financial support to the latter for their socioeconomic development.  The institution's central mission is to foster South-South Partnership with fellow developing countries worldwide with the aim of eradicating poverty.  OPEC Fund's head office is located in Vienna, Austria.