The money is included in the debt transfer programme to finance reconstruction projects following the earthquake that struck several Moroccan enclaves

Morocco and Spain allocate more than 11 million euros to rehabilitate quake-affected areas

La ministra de Finanzas de Marruecos, Nadia Fettah - REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ
REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ - Morocco's Minister of Finance Nadia Fettah

Morocco and Spain have agreed to mobilise an additional 11.6 million euros for the rehabilitation of areas affected by the earthquake of 8 September that devastated several regions of the North African country, such as Al-Haouz, Taroudant, Chichaoua, Marrakech, Ouarzazate and Casablanca.  

This amount of money is part of the debt transfer programme to finance reconstruction projects in the areas most affected by the earthquake that devastated the Moroccan region of Al-Haouz and the High Atlas in general. 

Nadia Calviño, Spanish Minister of Economy and Digital Transition, and Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, agreed to this mobilisation of money in the framework of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) that have been held in Marrakech during these days, as announced in a joint official statement from both parties. 

PHOTO/FILE - Nadia Calviño y Nadia Fettah
PHOTO/FILE - Nadia Calviño and Nadia Fettah

According to the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition, both countries thus confirm "their willingness to strengthen their cooperation based on sustainable and social development".  

These Annual Meetings have demonstrated how Morocco has overcome the terrible earthquake that affected Marrakech, an enclave that, despite what happened, has been able to host this important IMF and WB event held between 9 and 15 October.  

This new agreement between Spain and Morocco highlights the good relations that exist between the two neighbouring countries and allies, which currently enjoy a great diplomatic relationship, developed after the roadmap agreed by King Mohammed VI and Pedro Sánchez, President of the Spanish Government, following the meeting held in Rabat in April 2022. This meeting was held after Spain decided to show its support for the Moroccan proposal to resolve the Western Sahara dispute, considering it the most serious, credible and realistic way to settle the Sahrawi dispute. 

This last understanding was followed by important moments such as the High Level Meeting held in February 2023 in Rabat, which led to the signing of important memorandums on various matters, with the presence of Aziz Akhannouch, head of the Moroccan government, and Pedro Sánchez, president of the Spanish government.  

Spain was also one of the four countries that helped on the ground in Morocco with emergency teams after the earthquake. The North African country requested support from Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the United Kingdom to help with relief and rescue work. The Moroccan kingdom did not ask for more assistance because, as King Mohammed VI explained, it was understood that an overload of assistance could undermine the good coordination of the rescue teams working in the quake-affected areas. 

REUTERS/SUSANA VERA - La secretaria del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos, Janet Yellen, y la ministra de Finanzas de Marruecos, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, se reúnen el tercer día de la reunión anual del Fondo Monetario Internacional y el Banco Mundial, en Marrakech, Marruecos, el 11 de octubre de 2023
REUTERS/SUSANA VERA - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Morocco's Finance Minister Nadia Fettah Alaoui meet on the third day of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Marrakech, Morocco October 11, 2023

This new agreement to allocate several million euros to assist those affected by the earthquake has once again demonstrated the willingness of Morocco and Spain to cooperate.  

For their part, the local authorities in Al-Haouz and other areas affected by the earthquake have begun the process of census of the residents of the affected buildings in order to activate an immediate plan to house the affected people and rebuild the affected areas. Meanwhile, the number of damaged buildings was estimated at some 50,000 houses that collapsed in whole or in part. 

Precisely, the Moroccan government, under the directives of King Mohammed VI, established various inter-ministerial meetings to implement the aid and financing plan for reconstruction, and in recent weeks the action plans have been implemented, which have included direct monetary aid to those affected by the collapse of buildings and plans for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructures and basic services in the affected areas.  

A temporary shelter plan was also approved in these areas, taking into account many challenges, such as rain and low temperatures.