Building upon the success of the initial program, the additional financing will emphasize fiscal sustainability, social inclusion, and climate change
Washington DC, June 22, 2022 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved US$100 million of additional financing for the Casablanca Municipal Support Program, adding to the initial program of $200 million originally approved in 2017. The program supports the city’s financial and institutional strengthening under the Greater Casablanca Development Plan (Plan de Développement du Grand Casablanca, PDGC) with the aim to make the city more competitive, livable for its citizens and attractive for investors. This additional financing will scale-up the development impact of the program, accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the Municipality of Casablanca, while ensuring the city’s development model is sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.
“The original program has produced tangible results despite the pandemic and associated lockdowns, which put immense pressure on the municipality’s revenues. This additional financing will consolidate reforms that began under the original Program and will contribute to the municipality’s economic recovery from COVID-19 while also weathering current global inflationary pressures,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Maghreb Country Director.
The Program has benefits beyond the country’s economic capital with replicability potential in other urban metropolitan areas in Morocco and the broader MENA region. “Casablanca, Morocco’s economic hub, serves as an example for other municipalities that face similar challenges. The Program has achieved tangible results, including the increase in municipal own-source revenues, the mobilization of private capital through a PPP contract; the modernization of municipal revenue management with several tools developed and the improvement of the business environment by reducing the number of days to issue building permits and business licenses. Such reforms can be replicated in other cities and at the national level. We are already seeing this done in some aspects of the program,” said Chaymae Belouali, Urban Development Specialist and co-Task Team Leader.
Building on the achievements and momentum initiated under the original Program, the additional financing will focus on fiscal sustainability, social inclusion, and resilience to climate change. It will support greater revenue mobilization, namely through technical assistance, studies, and information technology systems, to help strengthen the Municipality of Casablanca. The additional financing will in parallel strengthen investment efforts to improve the urban environment, namely in disadvantaged areas, and introduce a focus on green investments to improve the urban environment and make it more resilient to climate change.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed Casablanca’s financial vulnerabilities. The Bank’s additional financing will promote cost-effective revenue and expenditure management by the municipality while increasing the city’s resilience to climate hazards and contribute towards reaching long-term emission reduction targets,” said Sateh Chafic El-Arnaout, Lead Urban Development Specialist and co-Task Team Leader. “The urban population is expanding in Casablanca and this financing will support the city’s efforts to deliver basic services in a more sustainable and efficient way. Integrating climate actions as part of a wider service delivery approach will support the municipality in pivoting towards a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive urban growth trajectory.”