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World Bank allocates $ 400 million to strengthen social protection in Morocco

The World Bank has just approved an envelope of 400 million dollars to support Morocco’s efforts in reforming the social protection system. This financial support aims to strengthen the kingdom’s response to the pandemic, which has deprived about 712000 formal sector employees and no less than 4 million informal sector workers.

The reform of the social protection system initiated by Morocco takes on its full meaning in this pandemic which has exposed many flaws. Thus, to support this effort initiated by the kingdom, the World Bank has just approved an envelope of 400 million dollars in favor of strengthening Morocco’s social protection system. “Morocco, which reacted quickly and decisively to help the most vulnerable in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, is now accelerating its reforms to strengthen its social protection system, an initiative that the World Bank is proud to support”, said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank’s director of operations for the Maghreb, adding that this project supports the country’s response to the pandemic as well as its plans to build a vast effective and vital social protection system for vulnerable populations.

The World Bank especially notes that the pandemic has disproportionately affected the poorest sections of Moroccan society and the livelihoods of thousands of households. Indeed, estimates show that the health crisis has deprived about 712000 formal sector workers and 4 million informal sector workers from work. Thus, the program will finance social assistance to these vulnerable categories while strengthening the capacities of the most disadvantaged to overcome the crisis. “This financial support covers both emergency cash transfers from the Special Fund for the management of the pandemic in Morocco and allocations related to existing social protection programs,” said the development finance institution, adding that in order to avoid a decline in progress in terms of human development and preserve learning, the project will support the Tayssir program of conditional cash transfers in the education sector.

“In a crisis like the one we are going through, protecting children and continuing to learn are among the priority responses. Likewise, income transfers are a lifeline for the many households dependent on the informal sector,” explains Carlo del Ninno, senior economist and co-team leader of the project. For his part, Mehdi Barouni, senior economist and co-team leader, adds that the program is based on a short and medium term approach, aimed at mitigating the impact of the crisis on large sections of the population while supporting the country’s efforts to build a solid social protection system.

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