In a significant move toward fostering international development and cooperation, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has signed two development loan agreements worth a total of $140 million USD.
These agreements, aimed at supporting infrastructure development, were signed with the governments of The Bahamas and the Republic of Mauritius. Additionally, a letter of intent was inked with the Republic of San Marino, exploring cooperation in various sectors.
These crucial agreements were signed during World Tourism Day 2023, hosted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the esteemed presence of H.E. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development Board of Directors.
The first development loan agreement, valued at $70 million USD, was signed with Hon. Isaac Chester, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation of The Bahamas. This agreement will fund the Family Islands Airports Renaissance Project, which focuses on enhancing and expanding airports in the Exuma Islands. The project aims to increase the annual number of visitors to these airports from 237,000 to 285,000.
The second development loan agreement, also worth $70 million USD, was signed with Hon. Louis Steven Obeegadoo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Mauritius. This funding will support the “Construction of Rivière des Anguilles Dam Project,” a critical initiative aimed at safeguarding the natural environment from flooding while providing a reliable water source for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use.
Furthermore, a letter of intent was signed with Hon. Federico Pedini Amati, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of San Marino. This letter signifies the initial steps toward potential cooperation in infrastructure development, spanning economic, cultural, and transportation sectors. It marks the commencement of a promising development partnership between SFD and San Marino.
These development agreements underscore SFD’s commitment to promoting sustainable development in developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) worldwide. They align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure)