Rabat — Investments by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Morocco, the financial institution's main client, have reached more than $ 1.1 billion over the past eight months, said the bank's Country manager Resident representative in the Kingdom, Leila Farah Mokaddem.
"Morocco is a country with which we have had excellent relations for over fifty years. With nearly 170 operations for a total commitment of over $ 10 billion in various strategic sectors, Morocco is a key partner of the Bank. Over the past eight months, five new operations have emerged for more than $ 1.1 billion in funding," Mokaddem said in an interview with MAP.
The latest operation of 264 million euros is intended to help the country in its health and economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, she pointed out, 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 repercussions 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," she said, adding that 200 million dollars will be dedicated to supporting the strengthening and extending social protection in Morocco.
"This will make it possible to extend social coverage to people with disabilities, children and vulnerable women. The objective is to move from a compulsory health insurance coverage rate of around 60% to the population in 2018 to more than 80% by 2023. We can clearly see the importance of this at this time of health crisis," Mokaddem added.
She also said that € 245 million were mobilized to finance the program for the development of power transmission networks and rural electrification with a view to connecting more than 16,000 households to the electricity grid in 720 villages across the kingdom.
She indicated that $ 220 million were granted to the Kingdom to finance the support program for the industrial competitiveness of the regions, with the objective of developing territories through new industrial infrastructures in order to strengthen the contribution of regions to the national process of industrial acceleration.
Moreover, € 100 million were granted for the municipal equipment fund to set up new industrial activities and improve the quality of public services in rural areas, she noted.
Regarding the results of these investments, the representative of the AfDB in Morocco said 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, nearly 7 million people were connected to the electricity grid, she said, noting that 16 million people were able to have better access to 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," she concluded.