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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Social Protection: World Bank Grants Morocco $350 M

The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved additional financing worth $350 million to support the social protection sector in Morocco.

This financing, in addition to the initial $400 million Program approved and disbursed in 2020, aims to support Morocco in implementing a modern and efficient social protection system, the international financial institution said in a statement released on Monday.

The initial financing was intended to support the Kingdom’s strategy to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Morocco has launched a comprehensive reform program covering the entire social protection sector, and has made significant progress in its implementation, said the Bretton Woods institution, adding that the additional financing will support the design of Morocco’s universal family allowance program, and strengthen the adaptability of the social safety net system in the medium term.

In addition to Emergency Cash Transfers (ECT), this program also incorporated measures to guarantee access and strengthen cash transfer programs to support vulnerable households and social protection initiatives.

Since its launch in 2020, the Emergency Social Protection Response to COVID-19 project has laid the foundations for a modern and effective social protection system, said Jesko Hentschel, Country Director for Maghreb and Malta at the World Bank, quoted in the statement.

This additional financing supports the operationalization of key elements of the Kingdom’s social protection reform, paving the way for a modern social protection system for all to make growth more inclusive, he added.

The additional financing will back two “key aspects” of the social protection reform, assures the Washington-based financial institution.

Its purpose will be to strengthen support for the Government of Morocco’s existing cash transfer programs and to implement the new non-contributory health insurance program for vulnerable households, explained the same source.

It will also add a component to improve the information system for social assistance programs for vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities.

“Given the importance of these programs for the well-being and resilience of households, but also to guarantee the continuity of the benefits they provide, digitizing payments and modernizing the Management Information System is essential for a successful transition to the new system envisaged by the social protection reform,” notes Mehdi Barouni, Senior Economist and Program Manager at the World Bank.

The additional funding will help ensure a smooth transition between existing cash transfer programs and the universal family allowance program, said the statement, adding that this financing will support the implementation of the AMO-TADAMON program, a cornerstone for protecting households – particularly the most vulnerable – from health risks likely to be exacerbated by the fallout from climate change.

Implementation of the AMO-TADAMON program is vital to protect vulnerable (women, children, people with disabilities) and isolated (in rural or remote areas) populations from health risks, said Dalal Moosa, Senior Economist and Co-Team Leader at the World Bank.

To achieve this, it will be essential to build on the tools already created to identify and target vulnerable populations, added Moosa.

The new financing will also take into account people with disabilities through the implementation of a disability assessment system that will facilitate identification as well as access to services, stresses the international financial institution, adding that this system aims to reach all people with disabilities in Morocco (around 2.6 million).


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