The loan aims to help the country manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank announced that its board of executive directors had the approval of the loan on June 16, stipulating that the fund is part of an ongoing Program for Results project. The 2015 approved project aims to support primary health care services.
World Bank Maghreb Country Director Jesko Hentschel said he is satisfied with Morocco’s COVID-19 response, commenting that the government has already taken “significant steps to contain the outbreak and lessen impact on vulnerable sectors and households.”
The director believes that the critical phase Morocco is entering requires “continued strong efforts” to contain the pandmeic.
He said with the recent loan and current support, the bank aims to “provide Morocco with additional resources to enhance its testing capacity and develop preventive solutions against virus spread.”
The budget will finance Morocco’s procurement of medicines, equipment, and medical supplies.
“It will help finance technical and medical equipment for laboratories and hospitals” to manage COVID-19 cases.
Health specialist and co-task team leader Fatima El Kadiri expressed satisfaction with the World Bank loan, stating that the envelope will help finance nearly a “quarter of the government program to manage pandemic effects.”
The World Bank will also provide more resources for equipment and training of health workers.
Morocco received several loans and financial pledges following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most recent loans came from the Arab Monetary Fund (AMP) which provided a fund of $211 million to Morocco to assist the country in undertaking public finance reforms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 31, 2019, the Ministry of Economy shared a report, saying that Morocco’s external debt reached MAD 334.96 billion ($34.366 million) by the third quarter of 2019.
The statistics indicate that the country has faced heavy external debt throughout the past six years.
The report indicated that Morocco already faced an external debt of more than $30 billion in 2014.
The external debt increased gradually throughout the six last year to reach nearly $36 billion in 2017. National debt reached more than $35 billion in the second quarter of 2019, to move downward slightly to $34,366 million by the third quarter.