The World Bank has given the green light to finance the Moroccan project "Economic Development of the Northeast". The agreement, signed in Rabat by the Minister of Economy, Nadia Fettah, and the Director of the Maghreb and Malta Department of the World Bank's Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office, Jesko Hentschel, stipulates that the World Bank will provide a loan of 236.7 million euros to finance the project.
Fettah expressed her gratitude for the trust placed in her by the financial institution and acknowledged "the support and the financial and technical accompaniment" that the institution provides to Morocco so that this type of initiative can be developed.
This project is part of the new policies of the Alaouite kingdom to promote the development of the north-eastern regions of Morocco. In this context, Morocco faces major challenges. More specifically, the northeast has been affected by natural disasters, as well as by the depletion of its natural resources and an underdeveloped industrial base.
The Moroccan government, aware that Morocco is home to several resource-rich areas that have not yet been exploited, Rabat has approved an infrastructure investment plan that would also include the development of the Nador West Med (NWMD) maritime complex, including the construction of a deep-water port and an industrial zone, as well as other actions aimed at improving the regional business environment.
According to the World Bank's director for the Maghreb, Jesko Hentschel, "this project will help to unlock territorial development, reduce spatial disparities to ensure sustainable and resilient territorial development, and promote competitiveness".
On the other hand, the World Bank's vice president for the MENA region, Ferid Belhaj, welcomed the "excellent relations" between the Bank and Morocco and stressed the position of the financial institution to "continue to support the economic and social development efforts of the Kingdom".
This is not the first time that the World Bank has agreed loans to Morocco for the "North-East Economic Development" plan, since last June it approved a loan of 250 million dollars, particularly for the further development of the Nador West Med (NWM) maritime complex.
In its entirety, the development project has three main components that aim to strengthen territorial progress in the northeast region, as well as support private sector development and optimise road infrastructure. The new funding will also be used to implement an investment plan to improve 500 kilometres of rural roads, a project that will involve 5,000 youth workers, with a special emphasis on women and young people in the area.
It will also support reforms aimed at increasing private investment by $30 million in the region, which will be used to rehabilitate 170 kilometres of primary roads.