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Carter Center Featured Partner: OPEC Fund for International Development

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Featured March 2016

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and The Carter Center have developed a dynamic and productive partnership over almost two decades of cooperation. Since 1997, OFID has generously donated over $1.8 million to Carter Center public health initiatives, including the Guinea Worm Eradication Program, the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas, and the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative. The latest pledge of $500,000 for trachoma control in Mali and Niger will be instrumental in stemming the spread of disease in those countries and working towards the goal of eliminating trachoma as a public health problem in Africa.

OFID is a multilateral development institution, established in 1976 by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) member countries, to promote cooperation with other developing countries and help them, particularly the poorer, low-income countries, in pursuit of their social and economic development goals. As of January 2016, OFID has funded 3,529 projects in 134 countries with a total of over $19 billion, including grants, low interest public sector loans, and trade and private sector financing in support of projects in agriculture, education, energy, health, water and sanitation, transportation, and other sectors.

The Carter Center's Trachoma Control Program works in six African countries to eliminate the leading cause of preventable blindness: trachoma. Trachoma is a bacterial infection that affects people in poor areas that lack sufficient hygiene education, clean water, and adequate sanitation infrastructure. Multiple infections of trachoma begin to scar the eyelids and lead to the eyelids painfully turning inward that eventually progresses to blindness if left untreated. At present, 232 million people in 51 countries around the world are at risk of contracting trachoma and over 4 million are at immediate risk for blindness. Since the program's inception in 1998, The Carter Center has assisted in the implementation of the SAFE strategy for trachoma control (Surgery, Antibiotics, Face washing and hygiene education, and Environmental improvement). With extraordinary aid from local governments and other partners, The Carter Center has assisted in over 489,362 eyelid corrective surgeries, supported the distribution of 123 million doses of the effective antibiotic: Zithromax® (donated by Pfizer Inc), provided health education to over 12,300 villages, and has supported the construction of over 117,000 household latrines.

OFID's generous contribution will support implementation of all aspects of the SAFE strategy in Mali and Niger. In addition, this support also will bolster the national public health infrastructure of Mali and Niger, as well as increase advocacy activities and aid in the transition from active intervention programs to post-endemic surveillance programs.

The support OFID has provided The Carter Center over the years underscores their commitment to improving public health for the most vulnerable, and The Carter Center looks forward to continuing this partnership in the years to come.

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Programs Supported by This Partner

Guinea Worm Eradication Program

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