World Bank Group Announces New Strategy for Morocco and Two New Projects Totaling US$450 Million

April 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014 – The World Bank Group today renewed its Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with the Government of Morocco, while also announcing new projects in support of the country’s financial sector and rural water supply. The new strategy, for fiscal years 2014 to 2017, aims to lend momentum to the Moroccan government’s key reform and development programs.

Gender, youth, voice and participation will be the guiding beacons of the World Bank Group’s engagement with Morocco, with the new CPS built around three results areas: promoting competitive and inclusive growth, building a green and resilient future, and strengthening governance and institutions to improve service delivery to citizens.

The strategy is anchored in the country’s development priorities and is in line with the World Bank Group’s goals of reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity,” said Simon Gray, the World Bank’s Director for the Maghreb region. “It stems from extensive consultation with government representatives, members of civil society and the private sector, as well as with other key stakeholders.”

Under the new partnership, the World Bank Group seeks to help accelerate growth to create much-needed employment, scale up innovative multi-sector approaches for the benefit of future generations, and improve private sector-led competitiveness and global integration. To support these objectives, the new CPS brings with it a broad array of financial and technical instruments and services, drawing on the strengths of the World Bank Group’s institutions, including its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

IFC will continue to focus on promoting private sector led growth, boosting investor confidence, and expanding access to finance to small and medium companies. Since 2011, IFC has stepped up its engagement in Morocco and has invested US$590 million to support private sector development in the country.

"The new strategy also reinforces IFC’s commitment to promote regional integration through South-South investments, by supporting the expansion of Moroccan companies in Sub-Saharan Africa and creating the conditions for Morocco to become a regional hub for investments.” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, has supported manufacturing, agribusinesses, and banking projects in Morocco. MIGA will continue to use its guarantees to underpin private-sector projects that contribute to job creation, growth, and development.

The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors today also approved two projects, one involving support to Morocco’s financial sector, and the other helping improve access to water supplies in rural communities.

The Capital Market First Development Policy Loan (DPL) of about US$300 million is the first of two single-tranche DPLs. The new loan will build on previous support for wide-ranging capital market development measures, as well as the reform of the Caisse Marocaine de Retraite, Morocco’s civil service pension fund. It will also support policies to ease financing for small, young firms, balancing access and financial stability.

A US$158.6 million Rural Water Supply Project was also approved. The project will support the efforts of Morocco’s National Water Supply and Electricity Utility, the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable, to provide underserved rural areas with access to safe and reliable drinking water. One of the primary methods will be to encourage a shift from standpipes to house connections, by offering pre-financing. The aim is to extend services to about 420,000 people in underserved areas of the targeted provinces.

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