World Bank Approves Additional $350 Million Funding to Support Morocco’s Social Protection Sector

The World Bank’s (WB) Board of Directors (BoD) has recently approved additional funding of USD 350 million to support Morocco’s social protection sector.

The World Bank (WB) reported in a press release released on June 13 that this funding, in addition to the initial USD 400 million Program approved and disbursed in 2020, aims to support Morocco in establishing a modern and efficient social protection system. The initial funding was to support the Kingdom’s strategy to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Morocco has launched a comprehensive reform program for the whole social protection sector and made significant headway in implementing it,” said the Bretton Woods institution,  adding that the additional funding will support the design of Morocco’s universal Family Allowance program, and enhance the adaptive capacity of the social safety net system in the medium term.

The initial funding provided Emergency Cash Transfers (ECTs) and included measures to guarantee access to and enhance cash transfer programs to support vulnerable households and Morocco’s social protection initiatives.

Quoted in the statement, Country Director for Maghreb and Malta at the World Bank (WB), Jesko Hentschel, stated that “since its inception in 2020, the COVID-19 Social Protection Emergency Response Project has supported building the foundation for a modern and efficient social protection system.”

“This Additional Financing supports the operationalization of key parts of the Kingdom’s social protection reform, paving the way for a modern social protection system to make growth more inclusive,” added Hentschel.

The press release also underlined that the additional funding will support two “key aspects” of welfare reform, stressing that the funding aims to strengthen support for the Moroccan government’s existing cash transfer programs and to implement the new non-contributory health insurance program for poor and vulnerable households.

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

In this regard, Senior Economist and Program Leader at the World Bank, Mahdi Barouni, noted that “given the importance of these programs to the welfare and resilience of households, guaranteeing continuity of program benefits, the digitalization of payments and the enhanced  Management Information System will be essential to a successful transition towards the new system envisioned by the Social Protection Reform.”

The World Bank (WB) also explained in its press release that the additional funding aims to ensure a smooth transition between existing cash transfer programs and the universal family allowance program, adding that it will support the implementation of the AMO-TADAMON program, a cornerstone for protecting households, particularly the most vulnerable, against health risks likely to be aggravated due to climate change.

In a similar context, Senior Economist and Program Co-Leader at the World Bank, Dalal Moosa, stated that “the implementation of AMO-TADAMON will be critical to protecting vulnerable populations (women, children, people with disabilities) and isolated populations (in rural or remote areas) against health risks.”

“To achieve this, it will be essential to capitalize on the identification and targeting tools of vulnerable populations already developed,” added Moosa. 

The Additional Funding will also cover people with disabilities through the implementation of a disability assessment system aimed at facilitating identification and access to services. This system seeks to reach all people with disabilities in Morocco (approximately 2.6 million).

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