$350 million loan from the World Bank in support of the blue economy

The World Bank has just approved a $350 million loan to support the launch of the Blue Economy program in Morocco.

“This loan aims to stimulate job creation and economic growth, while improving the sustainability and resilience of natural resources, as well as food security, an issue whose importance has become even more important with the effects of the war. in Ukraine “, indicates the international financial institution in a press release published in Washington. The loan also aims to develop “institutional frameworks, improve the integrated management of natural resources and strengthen certain sectors for a blue economy resilient to climate change in targeted areas”, according to the same source.

“Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco has strong potential for the development of the blue economy. Its coastal areas already account for more than half of the country’s GDP and jobs, while greater potential remains untapped in established and nascent blue sectors, such as aquaculture, seaweed farming and marine renewable energy”notes the director of operations of the World Bank for the Maghreb, Jesko Hentschel.

And the latter also cites the diagnosis established in the New Development Model which emphasizes that Morocco has the possibility of developing “coastal clusters” that attract investment and create jobs, while ensuring sustainable development. The new project has two components. The first, which revolves around an inter-ministerial commission and regional coordination mechanisms, supports the establishment of institutional frameworks aimed at “strengthen vertical and horizontal coordination”.

The second component focuses on investment in key areas of the blue economy, including sustainable tourism and the aquaculture sub-sector; professional training dedicated to the management of the blue economy; protection and management of ecosystem services; and improving climate resilience in targeted areas. The resulting job creation and economic growth should spur recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank said in its statement.

“With its abundant marine and coastal resources, the Moroccan coast offers, at the end of the pandemic, prospects for jobs and equitable recovery, and greater resilience in the face of climate change”, says Marcelo Hector Acerbi, senior environmental specialist and project manager. He recalled that Morocco is working to create “a greener, more resilient and more inclusive society”. “The Blue Economy program thus serves as a common platform for various regions and sectors for the development and implementation of integrated solutions dedicated to the effective administration of marine and coastal resources. The program thus supports an equitable and sustainable society”according to the expert.

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