The African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged $837 million for various projects in Morocco to help the country recover from the devastation of the recent earthquake.
AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina made the announcement at the Africa Investment Forum Market Days in Marrakech on November 8.
“The people of Morocco are resilient. You just hosted the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings a few weeks ago right here in Marrakech. And here we are, you are hosting us for the Africa Investment Forum. What courage. What resilience. What tenacity. I wish to take the opportunity to reassure the government of the Kingdom of Morocco of our continued collective support for the recovery efforts. The African Development Bank plans to provide €782 million ($837 million) in financing for various projects in Morocco in 2023,” he said.
About 3,000 people died and thousands others injured after a powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck Morocco on September 8.
The epicentre was in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km southwest of Marrakech.
Marrakech, with a population of 840,000, was the most impacted city. Buildings collapsed and others suffered severe structural damage. The disaster came as the country was preparing to host the first International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings on African soil in 50 years.
Marrakesh had been scheduled to host the meetings in 2021, but the gathering was postponed twice because of the Covid pandemic.
When the earthquake struck there were fears that it would derail the weeklong event again, but the Moroccan government decided it would go ahead from October 9.
Reports show that the kingdom plans to spend at least $11 billion in post-disaster reconstruction over the next five years. The plan targets 4.2 million people in the worst-hit provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Taroudant, Marrakech, Ouarzazate and Azizlal.
The UK has also offered £1.45 million ($1.78 million) to support recovery programmes.