Washington — A new World Bank project will help increase employment in Morocco by matching vocational skills and higher education systems with the needs of the labor market. A second project will strengthen the justice sector to deliver efficient and transparent services to citizens and businesses. The $100 million First Skills and Employment Development Policy Loan (DPL) and the $15.8 million Justice Sector Reform Investment loan were approved today by the World Bank's Board of Directors.
"Unemployment is one of the most critical challenges Morocco is facing," said Simon Gray, World Bank Director for the Maghreb Department. "The World Bank, through financial and technical support, will help the Moroccan authorities achieve tangible results on the ground. Rising to the employment and justice challenges is key to ensuring social and economic prosperity."
The First Skills and Employment DPL aims to help the government of Morocco implement its program of improving skills, productivity and quality of employment. The lack of jobs, including "quality jobs," has limited the extent to which sustained economic growth of the past decade can be widely shared and translated into poverty reduction. It also aims to improve the effectiveness of intermediation services, including active labor market programs, job quality and a strengthened labor market information system.
"This project will help higher education and vocational training students acquire the skills needed by the labor market," said Nadine Poupart, Senior Economist at the World Bank. "It aims to promote efficient labor programs for unemployed men and women and to transfer a significant number of those working in low paying informal sector jobs into formal work settings."
The Justice Sector Reform project will be piloted in 12 courts and will introduce international best practices in court management. This will entail a participatory process involving judges, administrative staff, judicial auxiliaries and users in the selected pilot courts. The project will assist in strengthening institutional capacity in the Ministry of Justice and Liberties and will better support and monitor the court system.
The two projects are in line with the objectives of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) that articulates the cooperation framework and strategic orientation of the World Bank's support to Morocco for the 2010-2013. The formation of a new government in 2011 and the push to accelerate reforms have led to a review of the CPS objectives and a progress report was presented to the World Bank's board of directors today.
Drafted in consultation with the government of Morocco, the CPS progress report assesses the implementation of the Bank's program and proposes areas of increased focus including growth, employment and competitiveness, governance, inclusion and voice, and subsidy reform.
The World Bank, through the updated strategy, will be able to sharpen its assistance to Morocco in promoting greater inclusion, improved service delivery and strengthened competitiveness, all aimed at the overarching objective of job creation, said Gray.