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LE MONDE OFID PROMOTION Tree of Hope is on display in OFIDs headquarters at Palais Deutschmeister. The image is the result of a collaboration the Child of Play Initiative with 350 children at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The initiative promotes integration of youth through artistic and cultural initiatives. In partnership, OFID has launched the “Equal Dreams” campaign to highlight the current refugee crisis from a child’s perspective, with the aim of promoting the equality of all children’s dreams. Celebrating 40 years – OFID dedicates its anniversary to refugees OFID, an Austrian-based Development Finance Institution dedicates its 40th anniversary to the plight of refugees. In particular, the organization will escalate support within its host country through further engagement with local partners and NGOs. This year the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) commemorates four decades of dedicated efforts toward poverty eradication. In 1976, OFID was established by OPEC Member States in a spirit of South-South solidarity to serve as a collective channel of aid to fellow—but less fortunate—developing nations. Now in its fortieth year, OFID looks back at its dynamic transformation from a temporary financial facility to a driver of the global development agenda. Worldwide, over 1.2 billion people continue to live without an adequate energy supply. OFID was one of the first to recognize the importance of energy as a crucial link for achieving sustainable development. The institution has been at the forefront of efforts to eradicate energy poverty, both at an advocacy and an operational level. It was in 2007, during the third OPEC Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that heads of OPEC Member States called on their aid institutions to tackle the issue of energy poverty. The subsequent Riyadh Declaration propelled into motion OFID’s Energy for the Poor Initiative (EPI). Member States underlined their commitment to the initiative with a US$1bn revolving fund announced in 2012 at the Rio+20 Summit. Last year marked a particularly important milestone for OFID. Following years of hard-fought advocacy, it was able to witness the inclusion of energy PHOTOS: OFID/ABDULLAH ALIPOUR JEDDI poverty eradication in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. After being overlooked in the Millennium Development Goals, energy was included in the new Agenda as a standalone goal—Sustainable Development Goal 7—devoted to ensuring affordable, accessible, reliable, and sustainable modern energy as a reality for all. OFID’s relationship with its host country Austria has matured over the years. Vienna, with its wealth of like-minded international organizations, has served as an inspiring backdrop for the execution of OFID’s mandate. Platforms such as the Vienna Energy Club and the Vienna Energy Forum have helped drive OFID’s EPI. Moreover, Austria has become a vital development partner for the institution, which has established longstanding partnerships with the Austrian Development Agency, as well as numerous Austrian NGOs including Hilfswerk Austria and SOS Kindersdorf—recipient of OFID’s Annual Award in 2007. The year of refugees As OFID celebrates forty years in the city it calls home, it has dedicated this important milestone to the countless numbers of refugees forced to leave their own homes. This dedication is intended as a mark of solidarity between the organization and the millions of people in vital need of aid and support. It is important as a development institution to react to pressing global needs. “OFID has chosen to dedicate this important anniversary to the plight of refugees in order to raise awareness of a global humanitarian crisis which is a responsibility for us all to end,” stated Suleiman J Al-Herbish, Director-General of OFID. OFID’s response to the refugee crisis has been dynamic. As well as offering assistance in the form of financial aid, OFID is launching a volunteer engagement program, which will enable staff members to take on a more personal role in the crisis. Vienna has opened its arms and welcomed hundreds fleeing conflict. In dedicating its anniversary to the “Year of Refugees,” OFID is also extending its solidarity to Austria to help ease the burden the country faces. Last year—at the height of the crisis in Europe, OFID supported the Vienna-based NGO International Humanitarian Relief (IHR). Since 2011, IHR has supported affected Syrian populations, by providing shelter and protection to orphaned children, as well as essential supplies and food aid to displaced families. OFID’s program of engagement will include advocacy as well as concrete support at the local level. One of the first activities of the program was the establishment of a communication center offering internet services for refugees torn apart from their families. OFID has donated laptops to the local NGO Wieder Wohnen, which is supporting asylum-seeking families with primary care. One of the major challenges refugees face is that of communication and integration in the host country. Therefore, OFID will be supporting refugees to overcome language barriers through translation services. Moreover, OFID will continue to encourage integration and raise funds through creativity. In May, OFID will host a charity art exhibition at its headquarters—the historic Palais Deutschmeister—in coordination with the Austrian Red Cross. The funds raised will focus on the integration of refugees, particularly children, and include support in improving German language skills and strengthening the school performance of the children in a multicultural environment. Since its inception, OFID has supported refugees through its grants facility. OFID has had longstanding cooperation with NGOs that provide assistance including UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. ABOUT OFID The OPEC Fund for International Development (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 that meets basic needs—such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education—and working to promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. OFID employs 195 staff representing 32 different nationalities, of which 51 percent are women. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Parkring 8 A-1010 Vienna Phone: +43-1-51564 Fax: +43-1-513 92 38 www.ofid.org firstname.lastname@example.org OFID Director-General Suleiman J. Al-Herbish 38 Cercle Diplomatique 1/2016