Morocco to receive $450 million loan,World Bank

Morocco to receive $450 mn in loan from World Bank to boost resilience

The World Bank has approved a $450 million dollar loan for Morocco with the aim to support economic and social reforms in the country in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per a statement issued bythe World Bank office in Rabat, the loan has been approved under its Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program to expand financial services and digital infrastructure for businesses (SMEs) and individuals in Morocco.

In the statement, World Bank Maghreb Country Director Jesko Hentschel noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable sections of the African nation, including women, youth, informal workers, and small and medium enterprises.

As per reports, the Moroccan government will utilise the loan to strengthen its digital infrastructure in order to enhance accessibility and boost financial resilience among individuals and SMEs.

“Strengthening digital infrastructure and access to it is a priority in Morocco’s new development model,” the statement added.

A recent report by the High Commission for Planning (HCP) noted that Morocco’s GDP contracted by 6.3 percent in 2020 due to nationwide lockdown, compared to a 2.6 percent growth witnessed in 2019. Last year, the country witnessed a negative impact of the pandemic-induced lockdown across all sectors of its economy. The African Development Bank Group stated that the Moroccan economy suffered dire consequences due to the pandemic, experiencing its first recession in over two decades in 2020.

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morocco has taken numerous steps to mitigate the social and economic repercussions of the crisis. After months of economic losses and fighting the COVID-19 virus, Morocco’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.6% in 2021, as per recent World Bank projections.

In its World Economic Outlook for the MENA region, the financial institution said that factors like accommodative policies, easing of restrictions, and rise in agricultural production will help in boosting GDP growth in the African country.

Last month, Forbes Middle East announced that Morocco is expected toemerge as the fifth strongest economy in the African region this year, with projected GDP growth of $124 billion (MAD 1.1 trillion). With successful management of the COVID-19 crisis and positive economic outlook, the recently-launched 15-year development model has borne fruits for Morocco.