The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has signed a US$20 million loan deal to build schools in Tajikistan.

According to the Saudi Embassy in Dushanbe, Sultan Al-Marshad, CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development and Tajikistan’s Minister of Finance Faiziddin Qahhorzoda signed the US$20 million development loan agreement in Dushanbe on October 6.  The agreement reportedly supports the fifth phase of the Secondary Schools Project in Tajikistan.

Saudi Arab News reported on October 9 that the signing ceremony was attended by Tajikistan’s Deputy Finance Minister Yusuf Majidi and Saudi Ambassador to Tajikistan Waleed Al-Reshiadan, along with officials from both sides.

The agreement reportedly funds the construction of 19 schools across Tajikistan, meeting the increasing demand for education.  

The implementation of the project starts this year and it will conclude in 2028.  Upon completion, it is expected to improve the country’s educational environment, benefiting around 30,000 students.

Official school opening ceremony in Shahrinav

Within the framework of a loan agreement on “The construction and Equipping of a Number of Secondary Schools, Phase 4”, a news school was officially inaugurated in the administrative center of Shahrinav district, some 40 kilometers west of Dushanbe.  The school features 36 classrooms and serves 620 students.

It is one of 34 schools that have been built in various regions of Tajikistan within the framework of the project’s fourth phase.  A total cost of this phase is US$35 million.  

Thus, SFD has financed the construction of 57 secondary schools for a total of US$75 million in the first four phases of the project.

During the first four phases of the project, 57 secondary schools have been built and equipped in Khatlon’s districts of Muminobod, Khovaling, Baljuvon, Danghara, Shamsididn-Shohin, Vose, Farkhor, Temurmalik, Hamdoni, Khuroson, Jaihun, Vakhsh, Panj, Qubodiyon, Sharitous, Doust and Jomi, Sughd’s districts of Devashtich, Asht, and Mastchoh, three districts subordinate to the center (Varzob, Roudaki and Nourobod) as well as cities of Kulob, Bokhtar, Nurek, Istaravshan, Panajakent, Konibodom and Vahdat. 

Meanwhile, Arab News says the agreement signed in Dushanbe on October 6 comes as part of the SFD’s commitment to enhancing public education in Tajikistan and supporting sustainable development in developing nations worldwide.  With this agreement, the SFD’s total contribution to Tajikistan’s education sector reached $95 million, funding a total of 76 public schools.

Additionally, it will stimulate Tajikistan’s economy by generating direct and indirect employment opportunities during both the construction phase and the hiring of teachers across various schools.

This project reportedly supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, expanding access to quality education for children nationwide. It marks a significant milestone in the 20-year partnership between the SFD and Tajikistan.

Arab News notes that SFD has financed 12 projects in Tajikistan, totaling over $190 million, across key sectors.

Established in 1974, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) is a Saudi Arabian government agency that provides development assistance to developing countries by financing social and infrastructure projects with the aim of improving lives and communities, which leads to supporting the economies of recipient countries by enhancing growth and job opportunities.  SFD began operations in 1975.  SFD's activities include development, finance, trade, and funding.  The Fund has financed infrastructure programs (dams, transport) and vital social projects (healthcare facilities; Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) programs and education) alongside other sectors such as energy and agriculture.

SFD boasts decades of experience, having executed more than 700 development projects globally valued at $18.7 billion.

SFD is led by Mr. Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia.  Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Marshad is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SFD.