December 01, 2009
OFID Signs Three Grant Agreements to Co-finance
Major Health Initiatives
December 1, 2009
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The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) yesterday signed three grant agreements relating to important worldwide health initiatives. The agreements were signed on behalf of OFID by Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General, and by HRH Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF); Professor Claude Le Coultre, Chairwoman of the Board of the International Committee of the Red Cross Special Fund for the Disabled (ICRC/SFD); and Dr. Seth Berkley, President of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).
Mr. Al-Herbish welcomed the Jordanian royal delegation, which comprised HRH Prince Talal Bin Muhammad, HRH Princess Ghida Talal and HRH Princess Dina Mired, Director-General of the KHCF. Mr. Al-Herbish referred to the collaboration between OFID and the Foundation, which began in 2005 when OFID extended a grant to help purchase the latest treatment and diagnostic equipment for the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) in Jordan. He noted that the latest grant would support the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for the Center’s Interventional Radiological Suite, as well as the construction/modification of the Suite to accommodate the new equipment. Princess Ghida thanked the Director-General for OFID’s generous support, and said that "the new radiology unit is a critical diagnostic tool that will dramatically improve the accuracy and efficiency of treatment." OFID’s US$600,000 grant will be extended to the KHCF, which is the umbrella organization of the KHCC.
A second grant will support a program of the ICRC/SFD, which aims at contributing to the socio-economic welfare of the disabled in Africa by providing them with orthopaedic devices such as prostheses and orthotics, as well as access to physical rehabilitation services. Proceeds of OFID’s grant will support operations in 15 SFD collaborative national centers in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), as well as the SFD regional office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The OFID grant of US$800,000 will help boost the capacity of the participating centers so that they can provide these vital services, at low or no cost, to some 3,000 disabled individuals in the selected countries. OFID has extended two previous grants to the ICRC/SFD to help support operations at rehabilitation centers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Managua, Nicaragua.
A third grant will support an OFID/IAVI partnership. IAVI, the only global organization dedicated exclusively to developing an effective AIDS vaccine, sought OFID’s support to bolster its research and development program in Africa and India. The partnership will support research to advance the design and development of AIDS vaccines to halt the virus before initial infection, control HIV should an infection occur, slow the disease’s progression and limit viral transmission. The initiative includes capacity-building measures at IAVI’s clinical research center in Kenya - the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative and provision of support to IAVI’s highest-priority research program. The US$3.5 million grant will be drawn from OFID’s Special Grant Account for HIV/AIDS Operations.
Since its inception, OFID has provided over US$468 million in grant support, including funding for technical assistance, research, emergency assistance and food aid, as well as HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment initiatives and assistance to Palestine.