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Results BriefsApril 18, 2024

From Disasters to Opportunities: Building a Resilient Future in Morocco

Photo(s) from FLCN-supported subproject to protect the town of El Hajeb against flooding  Photo credit: MENA April 2024

With World Bank support, Morocco has made significant strides since 2008 in strengthening its disaster and climate resilience. This has included gradual transition from a post-disaster approach focused on emergency response to ex-ante resilience building, including scaling up risk reduction, disaster preparedness, and financial protection.

Key Achievements:


  • Risk reduction: Financing and implementation of more than 230 disaster risk reduction projects, worth $304 million. Completed disaster risk reduction projects, amounting to $76.6 million, have benefited around 400,000 direct beneficiaries and over 33 million indirect beneficiaries across the country.
  • Institutional strengthening: Creation and operationalization of a new Directorate for Disaster Risk Management and adoption of Morocco’s first National Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Strategy (2021–2030).
  • Financial protection: Implementation of an innovative public-private disaster risk financing (DRF) regime, providing coverage to the entire Moroccan population through private insurance and a public Solidarity Fund. Unlocking of $300 million after the 2023 Al-Haouz earthquake.
  • Disaster preparedness: Flood risk early warning system operational in four pilot provinces, directly benefiting an estimated 240,000 people.
  • Risk understanding: Improved understanding of disaster risks through multi-hazard risk assessment at the national level, and two urban resilience diagnostics and strategies developed at the local level.



Morocco is among the countries most exposed to geological and climate-related hazards in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In particular, it is highly vulnerable to earthquakes, floods, landslides, and droughts. The Al-Haouz earthquake of September 2023 exemplifies the severity of these risks: it affected at least 300,000 people, destroyed 60,000 buildings, and killed nearly 3,000 people. The World Bank estimates that disasters cost Morocco over $575 million per year. Urbanization and climate change are expected to further exacerbate disaster risks in Morocco, including through an increase in the frequency and severity of hydrometeorological hazards.



Over the last 15 years, the World Bank has been supporting the Moroccan government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s disaster and climate resilience. Through several operations and technical assistance activities, the World Bank has supported a shift in government policy from focusing on ex-post emergency response toward a more integrated disaster risk management (DRM) approach with a strong focus on ex-ante disaster risk reduction and financial preparedness. Three World Bank operations, representing a total amount of $580 million, have promoted institutional reforms, capacity strengthening, risk reduction investments, and the establishment of a comprehensive disaster risk finance and insurance regime. These operations have been complemented by a range of technical assistance activities around issues such as urban resilience, critical infrastructure resilience, strengthening the building regulatory environment, and disaster risk finance (DRF).



​​Over the last 15 years, the World Bank has supported the government of Morocco in fundamentally changing its DRM/DRF system, moving from a reactive approach focused on ex-post emergency response toward a preventive, ex-ante resilience-building approach. This evolution is benefiting the entire population of Morocco. Results achieved encompass five main areas:

  1. Disaster risk reduction. Between 2016 and 2024, the World Bank supported the financing and implementation of more than 230 disaster risk reduction projects, worth $304 million, through the redesign of Morocco’s Fund for the Fight against Natural Catastrophes (FLCN), from an emergency response vehicle into a national resilience fund. Among others, these projects include flood protection investments, early warning systems and disaster risk mapping. So far, completed projects have benefited around 400,000 direct beneficiaries, and over 33 million indirect beneficiaries across the country. 
  2. ​Institutional strengthening. In 2020, the government of Morocco created a new Directorate for Disaster Risk Management within the Ministry of Interior, with clear lines of responsibility. Institutional capacity has been gradually increased and the Directorate now employs more than 80 full-time staff. In 2021, the government adopted its first National Disaster Risk Management Strategy (2021–2030). The strategy has been translated into a priority action plan (2021–2023) and an operational action plan (2021–2026) that covers 18 programs and 57 projects currently under implementation (including, for example, disaster awareness campaigns; support for public-private investments in risk reduction; strengthening resilience of critical public networks). 
  3. ​Financial protection. In 2016, the government adopted an innovative disaster risk insurance regime (Law No. 110-14), which became effective in January 2020. The law introduced a private insurance scheme covering more than 17 million people. To complement this scheme, the government also established a public solidarity fund (FSEC) to cover the remainder uninsured population, including poor and vulnerable households unable to afford private insurance. A parafiscal tax on private non-life insurance contracts has funded FSEC’s operations and reserves, with more than $90 million collected for calendar years 2020 to 2023. Following the Al-Haouz Earthquake that occurred on September 8, 2023, the FSEC unlocked approximately $300 million to cover eligible losses, out of which $275 million came from sovereign reinsurance placed in 2020 and renewed in 2023.
  4. Disaster preparedness. A newly created flood risk early warning system (“Vigirisque Inondations”) has been operational since 2023 in four pilot areas (Mohammedia, the Gharb region, the Ourika valley, and Guelmim province), directly benefiting an estimated 240,000 people. The civil protection system has continuously strengthened its human resources through improved training and education, and increased staffing. Finally, a draft national directive and practical guide to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure and essential services were developed through inter-ministerial collaboration among more than 30 government institutions.
  5. ​Risk understanding. In 2012, Morocco developed a catastrophe risk model, the Morocco Natural Hazards Probabilistic Risk Assessment (MnhPRA), which allows for the estimation of the economic impact of disasters (earthquake, flood, tsunami, drought, and landslide). Since 2021, the FSEC has been conducting additional disaster risk modeling efforts to estimate the financial costs of earthquake, flooding, and landslides. The government has also piloted urban resilience diagnostics and strategies for the cities of Fez and Mohammedia/Ain Harrouda, an approach that can be replicated in other municipalities. A National Risk Observatory within the DRM Directorate is currently being strengthened and fully operationalized.​


Data Highlights


Value of financed and completed FLCN projects from 2016 to 2023 (US$)

Morocco MENA 2024 Results Graph


Cumulative revenue from parafiscal tax on private non-life insurance collected for FSEC (expressed in million USD)

Morocco MENA 2024 Results Graph 2
Note: Exchange rate as of April 1, 2024: $1 = .099 MAD


Morocco’s journey towards a formalized approach to disaster risk financing started in 2008 and has come a long way since then. With support from the World Bank, Morocco has built its disaster risk financing program through a dual private-public mechanism. It relies on the private side on the expansion of existing property and liability insurance policies to include protection against catastrophic events, thus mobilizing private capital. The public scheme covers anyone uninsured under the private scheme, thus ensuring inclusion of poor and vulnerable populations unable to afford private insurance. It relies on the Solidarity Fund for Catastrophic Events as a public institution to provide financial relief to eligible victims. The promulgation of Law 110-14 in 2016 and the adoption of its implementation legal documents by end of 2019 have created the legal and institutional framework to materialize this dual approach and define the modalities of deployment after a disaster. The Al-Haouz earthquake has been the first full-scale test of this mechanism: the post-disaster response has been guided by the legal procedures defined within Law 110-14, leading to the legal declaration of occurrence of a natural disaster by the head of government in October 2023 and opening the way for the start of the registration and compensation processes.
Head of the Insurance and Social Welfare Division, Department of Treasury and External Finances, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Morocco.
Mr Abdeljalil El Hafre
Head of the Insurance and Social Welfare Division, Department of Treasury and External Finances, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Morocco.

Bank Group Contribution

To achieve these results, the World Bank employed a mix of financing instruments and technical assistance, including: three International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loans amounting to $575 million, a grant of $5 million from the Global Shield Financing Facility (GSFF), and a series of technical assistance funded through the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Morocco results MENA 2024 Graph v2



​​The main country partners are the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Morocco, with whom the World Bank has developed very constructive working relationships in DRM/DRF. This included close collaboration during the preparation and implementation of financing instruments, including regular face-to-face missions as well as virtual meetings. It also involved continuous policy dialogue, capacity building support, and technical assistance. Moreover, the World Bank’s DRM/DRF assistance to Morocco has benefited from the technical and financial support of GFDRR, GSFF, and SECO. ​

Looking Ahead

The impact of the 2023 Al-Haouz earthquake underscores the critical importance of disaster risk reduction and preparedness for Morocco. The World Bank remains committed to supporting the country along its journey to disaster and climate resilience and protecting its communities’ lives and livelihoods—through support ranging from financial instruments to advanced technical assistance. Over the last decade, Morocco has become a pioneer and a source of inspiration to strengthen climate and disaster resilience, and the World Bank is actively supporting other countries in the region to replicate lessons learned from Morocco’s experience. For example, two subsequent World Bank lending operations for DRM/DRF in Mozambique (approved in 2019) and in Tunisia (approved in 2021) have replicated the novel integrated approach developed in Morocco, including a dual private/public risk financing mechanism.