The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$15 million loan agreement with the government of Malawi to boost water supply and expand sanitation systems in Dowa Town and surrounding areas to improve health and living conditions for around 100,000 people.

OFID is also providing a US$350,000 grant to co-finance a technical and economic feasibility study for a new airport in Mzuzu City.

OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa signed the water and sanitation sector loan agreement during a visit to Malawi. He said, "Clean water supply is essential for the local community's well-being and livelihood and for overall social and economic progress. This is also reflected in Sustainable Development Goal #6 – 'Clean Water and Sanitation'.

"For the OPEC Fund, this project is a welcome contribution to the delivery of sustainable development, and I take great pride in seeing the fruits of our partnership during my visit to Malawi."

The project will include the construction of a water treatment plant with a production capacity of 14,300 m3/day, a pumping station and a 51 km-long distribution pipeline, and the installation of new communal water points and the rehabilitation of existing ones. Also included is replacing the sewage system at the Dowa district hospital and installing sanitation facilities at the Dzaleka refugee camp.

OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC, including the United Arab Emirates. The development finance institution is established as an aid channel to developing countries.