The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have both agreed to hold meetings in Marrakech despite the recent earthquake, according to the Emirati news outlet, The National, September 19.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)- World Bank meetings take place on a yearly basis and talks in the Moroccan city are set to take place from October 9 to 15.
The 6.8 magnitude quake’s epicentre was 72 km away from Marrakech, Morocco’s fourth largest city and a popular tourist destination, and 56 km west of Oukaimeden (situated in the Atlas Mountains region) on the night of September 8.
This month’s earthquake was the most fatal the country has seen in over a century. Around 2,900 people died and a further 5,600 suffered injuries.
The IMF and the World Bank have been monitoring the situation as well as being in close contact with the Moroccan authorities to deem whether the country is eligible to host the meetings next month.
The IMF and World Bank said on September 18, “In undertaking this assessment, key considerations were that the meetings would not disrupt vital relief and reconstruction efforts.”
In cooperation with the country’s authorities, it was agreed that they could host the meetings although the parties in question would have to adapt to the circumstances.
They added, “At this very difficult time, we believe that the annual meetings also provide an opportunity for the international community to stand by Morocco and its people, who have once again shown resilience in the face of tragedy.”
IMF-World Bank meetings have taken place annually since 1996, asides from 2020 when the event was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
A virtual meeting took place in 2021 and last year’s meetings took place in Washington DC as pandemic restrictions were eased in the United States.
COVID-19 continued to be a major talking point at the 2022 event due to the pandemic pushing 70 million people into absolute poverty worldwide.