OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
Following the First OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) Heads of State Summit in Algiers, Algeria in 1975, the Finance Ministers of Member Countries proposed the creation of a new multilateral financial facility to channel OPEC aid to developing countries.
Known initially as the 'OPEC Special Fund,' this facility was one of several bilateral and multilateral development institutions set up at around this time by the OPEC and Arab countries. Its resources were additional to those already earmarked for official development assistance (ODA) by the OPEC nations.
The Fund, which was originally intended to be a temporary facility, started operations in August 1976 with an initial endowment of $800 million and within little over a year its resources had doubled. By the end of 1977 it had extended 71 loans to 58 developing countries as well as channelling donations from its Member Countries to other development institutions including the IMF Trust Fund and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The OPEC Fund became a fully fledged, permanent international development agency in May 1980.
OFID's key aim is to foster social and economic progress in the developing world through the provision of concessional financing for developing countries. However, OFID's work goes beyond simply dispensing aid; one of its central aims has always been to advance 'South-South' solidarity in every way available to it. It does this by promoting cooperation in many spheres among countries of the developing world. It also does what it can to champion the cause of the developing world in the international arena.