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  • Total financing of €617 million (almost MAD 6.7 billion) in 2020 – double the 2019 figure – with accelerated disbursements.
  • Extraordinary mobilisation under the Team Europe initiative to bolster the health system and enable teaching to continue during the pandemic.
  • Expanded support for the private sector, SMEs and agricultural sector companies.

2020 saw an extraordinary level of European Investment Bank (EIB) activity in Morocco, with €617 million (almost MAD 6.7 billion) in signatures – double the 2019 figure. The Bank took wide-ranging action under the Team Europe initiative to quickly provide urgent support to the Kingdom of Morocco to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided immediate funding and exceptionally accelerated disbursements for previously signed loans to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Bank's total disbursements in 2020 reached €516 million, three times more than in 2018. This acceleration made it possible to provide decisive support to project promoters facing liquidity constraints.

EIB financing in 2020 gave priority to strengthening the health system (€200 million), supporting agricultural SMEs (€200 million), strengthening the state-owned Caisse Central de Garantie (CCG) to provide liquidity to the entire private sector (€150 million), and supporting the automotive sector (€54 million). The Bank also assisted micro-entrepreneurs with two microfinance sector operations (€13 million). This backing illustrates the EIB's broad, diversified approach in terms of both sectors and beneficiaries, with the application of a range of instruments tailored to specific financing needs (loans and guarantees, technical assistance and grants).

“The record EIB activity in Morocco in 2020 made it possible to finance key projects for the economy during an unprecedented crisis. The Bank's responsiveness and strong mobilisation enabled it to support partners and project promoters, mitigating the impact of the pandemic in the public and private sectors,” said EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix, who is responsible for financing in Morocco, at the presentation of the EIB's annual results for the country. “Our action in Morocco is in line with EU priorities while also being perfectly aligned with the strategic objectives of the Kingdom of Morocco and the national recovery plan. As the EU climate bank, we will also support Morocco's climate action and sustainable investment initiatives in energy, energy efficiency and urban mobility under the European Green Deal. We aim to finance innovative projects fostering growth, employment and social inclusion. In this way, we are helping to build a better future for younger generations.”

Extraordinary EIB mobilisation in the health and training sector to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

At the onset of the health crisis in 2020, the EIB provided Morocco with the first loan in the Mediterranean neighbourhood to help the authorities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The €200 million (MAD 2.1 billion) sovereign loan offered rapid financing for emergency medical supplies and equipment to health institutions.

The health of the Moroccan people and the modernisation of hospital services in the country were at the heart of the EU bank's action in 2020. The Moulay Youssef de Salé hospital is an example of this concrete action to offer excellent working conditions to medical personnel, as it was selected as a regional referral centre for caring for COVID-19 patients. This project forms part of an ambitious programme to rebuild, renovate and modernise a total of 16 hospitals under the Moroccan Health Ministry's hospital reform initiative.

Already partners of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (UEMF), the European Union and EIB provided a grant of €500 000 (MAD 5.4 million) for purchasing IT equipment to ensure teaching could continue during the pandemic. This has provided 422 scholarship students with a laptop and a 4G modem on a one-year plan so that they can continue their UEMF classes remotely. The grant also made it possible to purchase 3D printers to produce 1 000 reusable protective medical masks for hospitals.

Expanded support for the entire private sector and particularly for agricultural companies, women and micro-entrepreneurs

The EIB provided new financing guarantees to support SMEs and private sector recovery via the public system of the Caisse Centrale de Garantie (CCG), which plays a key role in facilitating access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). An initial tranche of €150 million (MAD 1.6 billion) was signed in 2020 and a second for the same amount is planned for 2021. The EIB financing enables the supply of loan guarantees to be expanded via products such as “Damane Oxygène”, thereby improving companies’ access to finance to address the crisis-related liquidity gap and support their investment projects.

With the aim of making the agricultural sector and farmers in rural areas more resilient, the EIB signed its first partnership with Crédit Agricole du Maroc (CAM), a longstanding leader in agricultural sector financing in Morocco. The €200 million (over MAD 2.1 billion) in financing will support and support productive investments that create jobs as part of Morocco's “Génération Green 2020-2030” agricultural strategy.

Following on from its assistance for Moroccan microfinance, the Bank financed two operations to support micro-entrepreneurs in 2020. The €10 million (around MAD 108 million) loan to JAÏDA, the country's second largest microfinance lender, will cover micro-loans under €25 000 (around MAD 270 000) for the self-employed, individual entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs in order to promote income-generating activities. A €3 million (MAD 33 million) loan to Al Amana will directly benefit 11 560 micro-entrepreneurs, around 45% of whom are women and 48% of whom are in rural areas. These two operations help to preserve jobs in micro-enterprises heavily affected by the crisis while also reducing the risk of social exclusion for those without easy access to conventional loans.

Lastly, in the automotive sector, the EIB provided €54 million to AGC Automotive Induver Morocco for developing the activities of its automotive glass plant in Kenitra.

The EIB has been a key partner for Morocco for 40 years. The EIB finances the development and implementation of key projects in vital sectors of the Moroccan economy such as business support, agriculture, water and sanitation, education, health, transport and even renewable energies.