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    Morocco Secures $350 Million Loan From World Bank for Blue Economy

    Morocco will use the loan to fund its Blue Economy program aiming to tap into the country’s coastal resources and build climate resilience.

    25 May 2022

    Rabat - The World Bank has approved a $350 million loan for Morocco, with the loan aimed at supporting the country in financing its Blue Economy program and contributing to its economic growth.

    As part of the Blue Economy Program for Results (PforR), Morocco’s government would use the loan to develop institution frameworks, enhance the management of natural resources, and boost the sector’s resilience in the face of climate change to safeguard national food security.

    Commenting on the loan, World Bank Maghreb Country Director, Jesko Hentschel, noted that Morocco holds significant potential to develop a strong Blue Economy.

    “Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco’s potential for developing its Blue Economy is strong,” he said, adding that the North African country’s coastal areas “already contribute to more than 50% of GDP and jobs in the country.”

    The World Bank director further explained that Morocco holds great “untapped potential” within existing and rising blue economy sub-sectors including aquaculture, seaweed farming, and renewable marine energy.

    Morocco’s Blue Economy potential is well documented in the New Development Model, which points out that the country has what it takes to “develop coastal clusters that attract investments and create jobs while ensuring sustainability,” Hentschel added.

    The PforR program is two-tired aiming to support the development of accommodative legal frameworks for the Blue Economy and to enhance the sector’s capacity to attract investments.

    Regarding the first goal, the program calls for the creation of an inter-ministerial commission to support the emergence of a new collaboration model between regional players operating within the Blue Economy, according to a World Bank statement.

    The program’s second goal is to stimulate job creation and post-pandemic economic recovery by investing in professional training and improving the sector’s climate resilience profile.

    In addition to these two goals, the program equally seeks to support national efforts to safeguard food security by building aquaculture farms and rationing sea resources in critical areas.

    Social justice goals such as gender equality and youth participation also figure on the list of the program’s objectives, with a special focus on incubating programs and technical support.

    Marcelo Hector Acerbi, Senior Environmental Specialist and Task Team Leader at the World Bank Group, said that Morocco’s wealth in marine and shoreline assets offers the country “opportunities for job creation and an equitable recovery from the pandemic, as well as for increasing its resilience in the face of climate change.”

    The program is significant because it “is a platform to bring together different sectors and regions to design and implement integrated solutions to manage marine and coastal resources efficiently,” added Acerbi. “By doing so,” he concluded, “the program supports an equitable and sustainable society.”

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