World Bank expands access to social services in Morocco
The World Bank recently approved a five million dollar loan that will support the Government of Morocco’s efforts to deliver basic social services to poor communities and vulnerable groups. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will issue the loan on a fixed spread basis with an eight-year grace period and a maturity of 17 years.
The Government of Morocco will contribute eight million dollars to the project aimed at strengthening the role of the Social Development Agency (SDA) entrusted with managing community-based projects.
The SDA project will provide support for community-based infrastructure such as irrigation, small markets and rural roads, and promote income-generating activities. It will also seek to strengthen the capacity of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) so that they are able to set their own priorities and implement development activities. A demand-driven mechanism for delivering social services will be established by engaging local communities to ensure that services are delivered in a relevant and cost-effective manner.
Assistance to SDA is provided within the context of the World Bank’s country assistance strategy for Morocco, which focuses on eliminating poverty, particularly in rural areas. The wide disparities and gaps in social services between rural and urban areas are among the main development challenges facing Morocco.
Only 45 percent of rural households have access to potable water despite improvements in access over the last decade; and less than 20 percent of rural households have access to electricity versus more than 85 per cent in urban areas. In addition, inadequate infrastructure such as the lack of main roads and markets in rural areas, has contributed to the need for the poor to diversify their sources of income. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)