The investments of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Morocco, the financial institution’s first client, have reached more than $ 1.1 billion during the last 8 months, according to the representative resident in the Kingdom, Leila Farah Mokaddem.
“Morocco is a country with which we have enjoyed excellent relations for over fifty years. With nearly 170 operations for a total commitment of more than $ 10 billion in various strategic sectors, Morocco is a key partner of the Bank. In the past eight months alone, five new operations have emerged for more than $ 1.1 billion in funding,” Mokaddem said.
The latest operation of 264 million euros aims to help the country in its health and economic response to the pandemic of the new coronavirus (covid-19), she recalled, noting that the AfDB supports, through this operation, the government’s efforts to strengthen the screening process and protect 4.3 million households in the informal sector from the effects of the crisis and 800,000 employees affiliated to the National Social Security Fund (CNSS).
“Through these measures, we expect to preserve 75% of jobs affected by the crisis,” said the resident representative of the AfDB in Morocco, also reported 200 million dollars that will support the strengthening and the extension of social protection in Morocco. And to support: “This will allow social coverage to be extended to people with disabilities, children and vulnerable women. The goal is to go from a compulsory health insurance coverage rate of around 60% of the population in 2018 to over 80% in 2023. We can clearly see the importance of this at this time of health crisis”.
Mokaddem also announced that € 245 million have been mobilized to finance the program for the development of electricity transmission networks and rural electrification in order to connect to the electricity network more than 16,000 households, distributed in 720 villages across the kingdom, adding that two new projects accentuate the inclusive dimension of the Bank’s action in Morocco. In this sense, she indicated that $ 220 million has been granted to the Kingdom to finance the support program for the industrial competitiveness of the regions, with the objective of developing the territories through new industrial infrastructure in order to strengthen the contribution of the regions to the national process of industrial acceleration.
Also, € 100 million was released for the Municipal Equipment Fund to set up new industrial activities and improve the quality of public services in rural areas, Mokaddem noted. Regarding the results of these investments, the representative of the AfDB in Morocco noted that between 2008 and 2018, 3.5 million people had improved access to drinking water and sanitation, and 8.5 million people (including more than 4 million women) benefited from better health services.
In the energy sector, so strategic, nearly 7 million people were connected to the electricity grid, she argued, noting that 16 million people were able to have better access to electricity and transport infrastructure.
“It is a source of pride for the Bank to talk about these results because, ultimately, we have been able to further improve the living conditions of millions of Moroccans,” concluded Ms. Mokaddem.