On February 24, 2012, OFID Director-General, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, signed a US$30 million public sector loan agreement with the Sudan to co-finance the Upper Atbara Dam Complex Project. The agreement was counter-signed by HE Mahmoud Hassan Elamin, Ambassador of Sudan to Austria.
The project aims at improving living conditions of the population in the Eastern Region of the Sudan by increasing the amount of irrigable land, and consequently boosting agricultural productivity and food security, as well as improving electric power generation. This will be accomplished through the construction of a multipurpose dam complex on the Upper Atbara and Settit rivers and a 320MW hydropower station. On completion, the project is expected to directly benefit some 160,000 farmers and bring indirect benefits to the 1.7 million-strong population of Kasal State.
The Sudan was the recipient of OFID's first-ever loan, which was extended in August 1976. Since then, OFID has approved 21 public sector loans that have benefited the country's agriculture, energy, transportation and water supply sectors. OFID has also extended private sector loans to help boost the Sudan's sugar-producing sector.