Morocco: cash-strapped Rabat signs financing deals


Morocco has signed multiple financing deals with the African Development Bank (AFDB) , reports Moroccan state news agency Maghreb Arabe Press (MAP), October 24. 

The kingdom signed three financing agreements worth 2.9 billion Moroccan Dirham (292 million USD approximately). 

The first agreement worth 1.296 million Dirham (126.4 million USD) is for a health infrastructure programme, the second is for a a social coverage programme worth around 1.596 million Dirham (155.6 million USD). 

As Morocco suffered a deadly earthquake earlier last month, the third agreement prioritised ways to tackle climate emergencies and is worth 10,260 Dirham (1 million USD).  

The north African country was a victim of the most destructive earthquake seen on Moroccan soil in over 120 years on September 8 as the epicenter occurred near Marrakech, killing around 2,900 people. 

READ: Morocco: king faces anger from Atlas residents over earthquake

Since the natural disaster, Morocco’s budget has been lacklustre and they have heavily relied on foreign aid. 

Government coffers have been empty in Rabat for quite some time with desperate measures such as hiked import duties placed on on-line purchases made via Amazon, which has resulted in thousands of purchases being returned due to many Moroccans unable to pay the taxes. There has also been a palpable increase in traffic fines imposed by the national police on major highways.

Despite the dependency on international aid, the kingdom refused assistance from certain countries, France being a notable example. 

Many residents who were affected by the quake did not get access to emergency aid, a turn of events that sparked outrage amongst Atlas Mountains residents. 

Regarding the signing of the agreements, AFDB Resident Representative in Morocco, Achraf Tarsim noted that, “These initiatives, actions and projects reflect the strong and historic relationship that the Kingdom of Morocco and the AfDB have enjoyed for over half a century. A partnership that is exemplary on the continent and has a bright future ahead of it”. 



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