• Saturday, December 09, 2023
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IMF, World Bank to hold annual meetings in Morocco despite earthquake

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have announced that they will go ahead with their scheduled 2023 Annual meetings in Marrakech, Morocco in October despite the recent earthquake that left over 2, 900 people dead and many injured in the country.

The meetings are scheduled to hold between October 9 and 15 just some just 72 kilometers from the site of the 6.8- magnitude earthquake on September 8.

This was contained in a statement jointly issued late Monday by the World Bank President Ajay Banga, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah Alaoui.

Read also: Marrakech, favourite of Nigerian tourists hit in Morocco as earthquake death toll tops 1000

“Since the devastating earthquake in Morocco on September 8, the World Bank and the IMF staff have worked in close coordination with the Moroccan authorities and a team of experts to thoroughly assess Marrakech’s capacity to host the 2023 Annual Meetings.

“In undertaking this assessment, key considerations were that the Meetings would not disrupt vital relief and reconstruction efforts, and that the safety of the participants can be assured,” the statement read.

The IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings are expected to draw well over 10,000 individuals to Marrakech.

Participants will comprise delegations from the institution’s 190 member states, as well as representatives from the media, non-profit organizations, and civil society groups.

“Based on a careful review of the findings, the Managements of the World Bank and IMF, together with the Moroccan authorities, have agreed to proceed with holding the 2023 Annual Meetings in Marrakech from October 9 to 15, adapting the content to the circumstances.

“As we look ahead to the Meetings, it is of utmost importance that we conduct them in a way that does not hamper the relief efforts under way and that is respectful to the victims and the Moroccan people.

Read also: Morocco earthquake death toll tops 2,000, as Cristiano Ronaldo offers shelter

“At this very difficult time, we believe that the Annual Meetings also provide an opportunity for the international community to stand by Morocco and its people, who have once again shown resilience in the face of tragedy. We also remain committed to ensuring the safety of all participants,” the three authorities further noted in the statement.

Every three years, the IMF and World Bank choose a developing country that has demonstrated strong economic policies and governance to host their annual meetings. The previous hosts included Indonesia in 2018 and Peru in 2015.

The meetings were originally scheduled to hold in Morocco in 2021 but were shelved twice due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.