Monrovia: The OPEC Fund for International Development has approved a US$20 million loan and a US$240,000 complementary technical assistance grant to the Republic of Liberia to co-finance the Sustainable Management of Fisheries Project together with the World Bank.
A NaFAA’s press release indicated that the project will improve the management of fisheries, making it more efficient and sustainable and as well enhance the living conditions of beneficiary communities, creating better incomes and new opportunities for over 55,000 people, including women, children and youth.
The fisheries sector provides dietary protein for sixty five percent (65%) of Liberia’s population and contributes at least three percent (3%) to the GDP with a huge potential of contributing more considering all the recent foreign investments in post-harvest infrastructure and improvement of coastal livelihood.
The Liberia Sustainable Management of Fisheries Project, (LSMFP) will positively impact at least six densely populated coastal counties which includes Montserrado, Margibi, Maryland, Grand Bassa, Sinoe and Grand Kru that are part of the nine coastal counties in Liberia.
The Fisheries Project the release noted, is designed to improve the ecosystem of fisheries, promote sustainability, increase the volume of fish landings and create more than 2,000 jobs. It also will help to implement climate-smart technologies and climate-resilient business improvements.
Making the disclosure of the financing package, OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa stated “We are pleased to partner with the World Bank to support Liberian fisheries, boosting livelihoods and empowering women”.
Ensuring the productivity of fisheries and reducing post-harvest losses will not only improve living conditions and reduce economic vulnerability, but also contribute to food security and climate adaptation in Liberia.”
Additionally, NaFAA in the release mentioned that the OPEC Fund’s technical assistance grant financing will specifically support 6,600 women through financing and training. The fisheries provide significant source of employment for women and other vulnerable groups in Liberia. Women entrepreneurs in fisheries, who will benefit from the program will receive training in post-harvest value systems, business development and financial management to sustain and further grow their businesses.
The project includes the design and implementation of improved management systems for coastal fisheries and associated fleets, including large artisanal fleets such as Kru and Fanti to transition into semi-industrial fishing, along with a smaller number of industrial and semi-industrial fleet operations.
At the same time, the release noted that the project will also improve the fishing harbor infrastructure at Mesurado Pier, help construct industrial and artisanal fleet facilities such as fish landing sites, fish value chain facilities including market halls, storage and processing facilities as well as access roads and services.
Meanwhile, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world.
The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Its work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education.
To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Positive Outlook by S&P in 2021. Its vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.