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- OPEC Fund extends US$100m loan to Morocco to promote financial inclusion and digital transformation
OPEC Fund extends US$100m loan to Morocco to promote financial inclusion and digital transformation
Photo: Marko Rupena/Shutterstock.com
April 11, 2022: The OPEC Fund for International Development has signed a US$100 million loan agreement with the government of Morocco to help build an inclusive financial sector as part of broader efforts to modernize the economy and support the Kingdom’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the “Financial and Digital Inclusion Program”, co-financed with the World Bank, the government of Morocco will implement reforms to provide households and firms with affordable, transparent and sustainable financial services – a key plank in its five-year strategy that aims to create a more enabling business environment. The program will help to expand digital financial services, such as insurance, credit and banking, to provide individuals and small businesses with increased and easy access to financial systems.
The OPEC Fund’s loan will cover two main pillars. The first aims to ensure financial inclusion by diversifying financing and payment sources for individuals as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by leveraging technology and supporting alternative financing models and infrastructure. The second goal is to finance reforms to help digital entrepreneurs and MSMEs harness economic opportunities, while nurturing the economic inclusion of youth, women and graduates.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “Inclusive innovation is a key enabler of sustainable development. This loan, which focuses on financial and digital inclusion, will help to empower the more vulnerable and impacted populations such as youth, women, small businesses and entrepreneurs and bolster the country’s long-term sustainable economic recovery.”
Although Morocco entered the COVID-19 pandemic in a stronger position than many emerging economies with sound macroeconomic fundamentals and strong economic policy institutions, the public health crisis strongly impacted the country’s economy. As a result real GDP contracted by 7 percent in 2020.
The OPEC Fund has worked with Morocco for more than four decades and has committed more than US$600million to date, especially to the country’s energy, financial, and transport sectors.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA/Outlook Positive by S&P in 2021. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.