The International Monetary Fund said that its Executive Board agreed yesterday, Thursday, to grant Morocco an 18-month loan worth $1.32 billion through the Resilience and Sustainability Fund of the International Financial Corporation. This is to help enhance the Kingdom’s ability to confront climate-related disasters.
Morocco had requested money from the International Monetary Fund’s new fund long before the September 8th earthquake that struck the High Atlas Mountains region, killing more than 2,900 people.
The approval comes weeks before Morocco hosts the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Marrakesh between October 9 and 15.
The fund’s director, Kristalina Georgieva, revealed for the first time the Resilience and Sustainability Fund loan in an exclusive interview with Reuters this month, noting that the board of directors would review an expert-level agreement with Morocco later this month.
The Fund said that this arrangement “will help Morocco address climate vulnerabilities, enhance its resilience to climate change, and seize opportunities from halting carbon emissions.”
He said the funds would also help Moroccan authorities enhance preparedness for natural disasters and advance financing for sustainable development.
Julie Kozak, spokeswoman for the International Monetary Fund, had told reporters earlier that the Fund and the Bank decided to go ahead with their joint annual meetings in Marrakesh after ensuring that the events would not disrupt relief and reconstruction efforts.
She added that the meetings will be adapted to suit the circumstances, but without elaborating on the details, and explained that the timetable is still being prepared.
She went on to say that the meetings in Marrakesh have been preparing for five years and were postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and come at an important time for the global economy and members of the International Monetary Fund.
She also said: “I am confident that these meetings will demonstrate the strength of Morocco, the Moroccan people, and the Moroccan authorities… This is the first time in 50 years that the annual meeting has been held on the African continent.”
Kozak explained that Georgieva will deliver a “curtain raising” speech in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on October 5, to pave the way for the meetings.