WASHINGTON, February 12, 2015 – The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$130 million project to support the Moroccan national goal of ensuring all municipal solid waste is disposed in sanitary landfills, along with 20% of all waste recycled, by 2022. The project will focus on boosting solid waste services in urban areas, while improving conditions and incomes for traditional jobs associated with solid waste management, namely the ‘waste pickers,’ and developing new businesses and jobs based on recycling.
The Fourth Municipal Solid Waste Sector Development Policy Loan was designed to support the 15-year National Program for Solid Waste Management. With sixty percent of Morocco’s population living in cities, the country is faced with a pressing demand for more efficient and affordable solid waste management and for sustainably disposing of a growing waste production of around 5.5 million tons per year. The ambitious government program has achieved significant results in improving the overall management of solid waste services and nurturing public confidence in its efficiency and reliability.
“We are delighted to continue to support a pioneering reform program in a sector that is so critical to the health and well-being of Moroccan citizens,” said Simon Gray, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb. “The reforms being supported under this loan will help significantly upgrade solid waste collection and management and reinforce the shift to a more professional, transparent and accountable management of these services.”
As part of the program, an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 jobs will be created by 2022, through income-generating activities and small enterprises dedicated to waste recycling. More than 15 million people are now benefiting from upgraded municipal solid waste services and the waste collection ratio in urban areas has increased from 45 percent in 2007 to 80 percent today. In addition, more than 35 percent of the waste collected is being disposed in accordance with acceptable social and environmental practices.
“Citizen engagement and access to information are also at the core of this program,” said Jaafar Friaa, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “A ‘Citizen Report Card’ allows the public to monitor the delivery of services and report back with any complaints.”
The reforms supported by the loan also include actions to strengthen environmental control and monitoring in Morocco. “The recent adoption of a decree establishing an Environmental Police is a tangible example of a reform that will help regulate the sector” added Maria Sarraf, World Bank co-Task Team Leader.
The loan is a key component of the World Bank Group’s current Country Partnership Strategy with Morocco that covers the fiscal years 2014-17.
The World Bank currently has a portfolio of 21 projects in Morocco, amounting to a committed financing of US$1.98 billion, providing a diverse range of support in areas such as private sector, financial sector and governance reform, employment, green growth and promotion of renewable energy, access to basic services such as rural roads, water, sanitation, the reduction of vulnerability and social exclusion, and improvements in agriculture. Since 2011, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, has stepped up its engagement in Morocco and has invested US$590 million to support private sector development in the country.