IMF commends Morocco’s measures to contain Covid-19 crisis, expand social welfare
The prompt measures adopted by Morocco after the outbreak of the coronavirus outbreak helped the country contain the economic and social impact of the pandemic, said the IMF, noting that the country should brace for deep recession this year.
The Moroccan economy will contract by 6 to 7% this year due to the impact of the pandemic and drought, said the IMF in a statement at the conclusions of consultations with Moroccan authorities, under Article IV.
The fiscal and external deficits are expected to widen, on the back of lower tax revenues and tourism receipts, respectively, it said, adding that the resilience of remittances and lower imports have contained Morocco’s external financing needs.
The IMF expects Morocco to post a growth rate of 4.5% next year as the effects of the drought and pandemic wane.
The IMF staff recommended starting to reduce the public-debt-to GDP ratio from 2022 under its baseline projections.
“Staff congratulates the authorities’ decisive efforts to expand social assistance this year and agrees that a comprehensive reform of the social protection system has become more urgent after the pandemic,” the IMF said.
The head of the IMF mission Roberto Cardarelli, who presented at a news conference the conclusions of consultations with Moroccan authorities, under Article IV, commended the Kingdom’s determined efforts to expand social welfare to all Moroccans.
Extending medical insurance to all Moroccans would help increase access to better quality services, he said, stressing that the harmonization of all existing social assistance programs under a unified social register would improve the efficiency of the system.