Press Releases

World Bank Group, OPEC Fund for International Development Agree Framework for Increased Cooperation to Respond to New Development Challenges

In Washington, D.C.:
Houtan Bassiri

Tel: +1-202-458-4662


OFID Contact:

Sam Ifeagwu

Tel: +431/51564-139


Washington DC, October 11, 2010—The World Bank Group and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) today announced that they will intensify their existing cooperation to meet new development challenges. They also proposed to strengthen their efforts to accomplish common goals of overcoming poverty and encouraging lasting economic and social development in their partner countries.

The World Bank Group and OFID agreed that natural resource management, equitable development and globalization presented new challenges. They also agreed that the economic crisis called for a new role for international development institutions and an increased capacity to anticipate and to act swiftly and cooperatively.

The announcement followed the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between OFID and World Bank Group member institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IFC, the International Development Association (IDA), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

Mr. Suleiman Al-Herbish, OFID's Director-General, said, “OFID is currently adapting its activities to better meet the new economic and social development challenges in its partner countries. OFID’s Public, Private and Trade Finance Operations have been enhanced and adapted during this period of crisis. The MOU will allow OFID to benefit from the great expertise and broad reach of the World Bank Group. It will allow OFID more effective collaboration on traditional development programs and on special initiatives now under consideration.”

Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group said: “This framework for cooperation demonstrates how the World Bank Group is working with development partners -- optimizing resources, skills and knowledge across organizations to best respond to the needs of developing countries. While the agreement is global in scope, the focus is on sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, where significant challenges remain.”

The MOU calls for increased coordination between the World Bank Group and OFID development programs for the greater benefit of their partner countries. It also calls for cooperation in the promotion of special initiatives where required. The agreement targets cooperation in the areas of economic and social infrastructure and emphasizes the special needs for overcoming energy poverty and the management of natural resources. The agreement also addresses the need for efficient public services and the enhancement of the role of the private sector. It stresses the need for trade facilitation and the strengthening of the financial sector.

Cooperation between the World Bank and OFID began in the late 1970s when OFID was created. Relations have since grown to encompass joint projects and programs especially in the least developed economies covering the expansion of economic and social infrastructure, the promotion of economic efficiency; and the development of institutional capacities.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).  Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information please visit,, and

About the OPEC Fund for International Development

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is a development finance institution which was established in 1976 by the Member States of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The primary aim of OFID is to contribute to the social and economic advancement of developing countries.  All developing countries, with the exception of OPEC Member Countries, are in principle eligible for OFID assistance. Today, 127 countries spread across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe have benefited from OFID's assistance. For further information please visit: