ISLAMABAD  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), signed a framework co-financing agreement to fund joint projects tackling Asia and the Pacific’s pressing public sector needs.

Under the agreement, ADB and OFID would invest in existing and new projects expected to help promote development in the energy, water supply and sanitation, education, transport, agriculture, and health sectors, according to OFID press statement received here on Monday.

Commenting at the signing ceremony, Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General of OFID, said the agreement further solidifies the long-standing relationship between the two organizations, dating back to 1977.

He said, during the period our cooperation in over 90 projects has been highly beneficial for developing countries in the region and a good basis for scaling-up our joint activities - one of the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding we signed in May 2011.

Al-Herbish said that the agreement improves the sharing of relevant information between the two institutions to enhance the identification and implementation process of co-financed projects.

In tackling the enormous challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region, effective cooperation among development partners is becoming indispensable, ADB President said. Collaboration with key development partner like OFID is crucial to meeting our strategic objective of reducing poverty and improving the quality of life in the Asia and Pacific region, he said.

 The signing of the framework co-financing agreement follows a MOU signed in May 2011 that marked the official establishment of a collaborative arrangement on institutional and project-specific levels.

OFID is the second largest co-financier of ADB after WB, financing more than $800m as at the end of 2011 for more than 90 ADB-assisted projects in BD, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Uzbekistan and among others.