London, 7th June 2016 (WAM/AIM): The Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), meeting in Vienna, has approved a grant of 600,000 US dollars tor for the Austrian Development Agency to further develop a solar power project in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, the Mozambique News Agency, AIM, reports today.

The project aims at reducing energy poverty by increasing access to solar energy. It is expected to improve the living standards of seven thousand people.

In addition, OFID will provide 400,000 dollars to the Austrian non-governmental organisation Hilfswerk for a programme to reduce maternal and child mortality in 12 districts in the central Mozambican province of Sofala.

OFID is the development finance institution established by the member states of OPEC in 1976 as a collective channel of aid to the developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services delivery and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. OFID’s work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs – such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education – with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring hope for the future.

OFID is funded through voluntary contributions from the member states of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). At the end of 2015, contributions pledged by OPEC members to OFID totalled 3.5 billion dollars with the organisation holding a further 2.6 billion dollars in its reserves.