The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s financing institution, will grant Morocco a new $45 million soft loan to help the North African country face the drought that hit the region. The loan will be due in 20 years with a five-year grace period.
EIB President Philippe Maystadt met with Morocco's Economy Minister Fathallah Oualalou in Rabat in mid-September to discuss ways to enhance financial cooperation and sign the loan agreement, reported the official Maghrebe Arab Presse, MAP.
The European loan will be used to partially finance a long-term program aiming to supply drinking water to some 70 medium-sized local desert villages in Morocco. The works will be carried out over the period 2001-2004.
Morocco is expected to receive another $150 million loan provided by the World Bank for the same purpose. Ultimately, the project will double the ratio of local villages connected to drinking water sources, from current 42 percent to over 80 percent.
This third EIB loan brings the total amount advanced to this utility for water supply schemes to $129 million.
EIB extended financing worth $624 million to Morocco in 2000. The figure places Morocco as the third largest recipient of EIB financial backing, after Turkey and Egypt. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )