New financing supports ambitious social protection and health reforms
WASHINGTON, December 19, 2023 — The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a new US$500 million loan aimed at improving protection of the most vulnerable populations against health and climate risks, expanding the social protection system, and boosting resilience against catastrophic events. This financing is the second in a series of three operations that support the government’s reform program.
The Strengthening Human Capital for a Resilient Morocco Development Policy Financing program is aimed primarily at vulnerable populations who have been hit the hardest by shocks Morocco has experienced since COVID-19, including drought and other climate-related risks, international conflicts, inflation, and, more recently, the Al Haouz earthquake.
“Morocco, like many other countries, continues to face a series of shocks, and the most vulnerable populations are the ones most impacted,” said Jesko Hentschel, Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta at the World Bank. “Moroccans are showing great resilience, but to support them in this effort, the Government will continue to expand health insurance coverage, promote greater access to affordable health care countrywide, strengthen governance in the health care sector, support the implementation of the direct social benefits program, and improve protection against climatic risks.”
The Government has made significant progress in implementing the reforms over the last year. For example, the number of people eligible for AMO (Mandatory Health Insurance – Assurance Maladie Obligatoire) has more than doubled, from 10 million (benefiting from RAMED, the medical assistance plan) to 22 million (eligible for AMO-Tadamon and AMO-TNS). Moreover, the legal framework of the health sector has been overhauled, enabling the revamping of the national health system. The second round of financing will help to adapt health services to better respond to health risks.
The new financing also supports reforms to create and implement the direct social benefits program announced by HM King Mohammed VI in October 2023, which is a crucial step in the harmonization and expansion of the social protection system. The financing will also enable continued support to the government in strengthening the institutional and coordination framework for disaster and climate-related risk management and developing insurance schemes and other solidarity mechanisms to protect vulnerable farmers against droughts and other extreme climate events.
The World Bank will continue to support key elements of the social protection and health reforms in the next phase of implementation lying ahead which include a gradual evolution towards universal coverage of health insurance and direct social benefits as well as the expansion of pension schemes to reduce poverty among the elderly.