ABU DHABI // The UAE announced a Dh4.6 billion grant yesterday to finance sustainable development in Morocco.
The grant is the UAE's contribution to the Dh18.3bn allocated to Morocco over five years under the Gulf Development Fund, a GCC initiative. Other contributions will come from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Its aim is to raise the standard of living and social and economic status of the Moroccan people.
"We are confident this grant will play a vital role in supporting the ambitious development plans implemented by the Moroccan government," said Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, acting director general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
"They will help to put in place strong foundations for achieving social and economic development and promote sustainable economic growth," Mr Al Suwaidi said.
"These projects are expected to focus on vital sectors in the field of infrastructure such as education, roads, housing, water, health and social services."
Nizar Baraka, Morocco's minister of economy and finance, signed an agreement yesterday with Mr Al Suwaidi at the ministry of economy and finance in Rabat.
"This grant embodies the keenness of the UAE … to support and assist the Kingdom of Morocco, in line with its strong approach in carrying out sustainable development in brotherly and developing countries to enable them to overcome difficulties and challenges faced, and raise the living standards of their people," Mr Al Suwaidi said.
A delegation from the ADFD will hold talks with the Moroccan government to determine the package of projects in line for funding that fall within the priorities of the country's development plan.
"The grant will effectively support the efforts of the Moroccan government to achieve comprehensive development," said Mr Baraka. "It will be distributed to finance a number of important projects that will have a direct impact in promoting economic growth and achieve a quantum leap in the process of social and economic development in Morocco."
Mr Baraka praised the leadership of the UAE's role in solidifying cooperation between the UAE and Morocco, and extended his gratitude and appreciation for its continuous support and keenness to back development in the country.
Mr Baraka also expressed his high esteem for Abu Dhabi and the ADFD in promoting development in Morocco by funding such vital projects.
ADFD's involvement in Morocco dates to 1976, when it provided nearly Dh2 billion in loans for 11 projects, and managed grants amounting to Dh832 million for 21 projects. The projects focused on the sectors most influential in the development process in Morocco.
The total assistance given to Morocco and managed by ADFD on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Government now stands at more than Dh7.3 billion.
* Additional reporting by Wam