Morocco: WB Supports Casablanca Development Plan with $100 Additional Funding
The World Bank has approved a $100 million additional financing for the Casablanca Municipal Support Program. The amount adds to the initial program of $200 million originally approved in 2017.
The program supports the city’s financial and institutional strengthening under the Greater Casablanca Development Plan (Plan de Développement du Grand Casablanca, PDGC) with the aim to make the city more competitive, livable for its citizens and attractive for investors.
This additional financing will scale-up the development impact of the program, accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the Municipality of Casablanca, while ensuring the city’s development model is sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.
“The original program has produced tangible results despite the pandemic and associated lockdowns, which put immense pressure on the municipality’s revenues. This additional financing will consolidate reforms that began under the original Program and will contribute to the municipality’s economic recovery from COVID-19 while also weathering current global inflationary pressures,” said Jesko Hentschel, WB Maghreb Country Director.
The Program has benefits beyond the country’s economic capital with replicability potential in other urban metropolitan areas in Morocco and the broader MENA region.
“Casablanca, Morocco’s economic hub, serves as an example for other municipalities that face similar challenges”, said WB expert Chaymae Belouali.
The Casablanca development program has achieved tangible results, including the increase in municipal own-source revenues; the mobilization of private capital through a PPP contract; the modernization of municipal revenue management with several tools developed and the improvement of the business environment by reducing the number of days to issue building permits and business licenses.
Building on the achievements and momentum initiated under the original Program, the additional WB financing will focus on fiscal sustainability, social inclusion, and resilience to climate change. It will support greater revenue mobilization, namely through technical assistance, studies, and information technology systems, to help strengthen the Municipality of Casablanca.
The additional financing will in parallel strengthen investment efforts to improve the urban environment, namely in disadvantaged areas, and introduce a focus on green investments to improve the urban environment and make it more resilient to climate change.