Rabat – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level agreement with Morocco to provide a significant $1.3 billion loan, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
The loan aims to strengthen Morocco’s resilience to climate-related disasters, particularly in the aftermath of a devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the High Atlas Mountains, resulting in the tragic loss of nearly 3,000 lives.
Georgieva’s announcement comes amidst rising speculations about whether or not the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank will take place in Marrakech this year.
The earthquake caused extensive damage in the city’s historic Medina quarter. However, Moroccan remains committed to the meeting, Georgieva said.
“The Moroccan authorities are fully committed to the meetings,” Georgieva stated.
She described discussions with Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, expressing her concerns about the potential burden that these international gatherings might impose on the country’s recovery efforts.
Akhannouch, on the other hand, emphasized the significance of the meetings for Morocco’s hospitality sector, highlighting the potential adverse impact on the country’s economy if they were not held in Marrakech.
He conveyed his concerns to Georgieva, who has agreed to explore ways to simplify the meetings should they proceed in Marrakech.
This might include the possibility of reducing their duration and scaling back attendance, allowing Morocco to focus on recovery while still reaping the economic benefits of hosting the prestigious event.
Georgieva told Reuters that a comprehensive evaluation of Morocco’s capacity to host the meetings is underway. These meetings are scheduled for October 9-15.
The decision regarding whether the IMF and World Bank will proceed with these gatherings is expected to be made on Monday.
Source : MoroccoWorldNews