Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a grant committed by the UAE for the Kingdom of Morocco within the framework of the UAE’s contribution to the GCC’s Gulf Development Fund initiative.

The UAE’s contribution within this initiative amounts to $1.25 billion (Dh4.6 billion), of the total grant value of $5 billion to support Morocco over the next five years, which was previously approved by the leaders of the GCC to be contributed to equally by the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Nizar Baraka, Minister of Economy and Finance in Morocco, and Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, Acting Director-General of ADFD, signed the MoU in the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Rabat.

The grant, which will be managed by the ADFD, will go towards financing crucial projects which have been carefully selected to support the efforts of the Moroccan government to achieve sustainable development, and raise the standard of living and social and economic status of the Moroccan people.

Al Suwaidi said: “This grant embodies the keenness of the UAE, under the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 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.”

Ambitious development plans

He added: “The UAE and the Kingdom of Morocco have close relations at various levels, established over the past decades under the directives and direct follow-up of our wise leadership, and we are confident that this grant will play a vital role in supporting the ambitious development plans implemented by the Moroccan government, which will help to put in place strong foundations for achieving social and economic development and promote sustainable economic growth in the Kingdom.”

“A high-level delegation from the ADFD will hold talks with the Moroccan government to determine the package of projects proposed for funding which fall within the priorities of the development plan in Morocco. These projects are expected to focus on vital sectors in the field of infrastructure, such as education, roads, housing, water, health and social services,” Al Suwaidi said.

Baraka praised the role of the UAE’s leadership in solidifying cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco, and extended his gratitude and appreciation to the UAE for its continuous support and keenness to back the march of development in his country.

Baraka said: “The grant will effectively support the efforts of the Moroccan government to achieve comprehensive development. 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.”
He also expressed his high esteem for the efficient role the Government of Abu Dhabi and the ADFD are playing in promoting development in Morocco by funding such vital projects.

ADFD involvement in Morocco goes back to 1976, since when the fund has offered loans totalling nearly Dh2 billion, allocated for 11 projects, and managed grants amounted to approximately Dh832 million for 21 projects focused on the sectors most influential in the development process in Morocco.

With this current grant, the total assistance given to the Kingdom of Morocco and managed by ADFD on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government now stands at more than Dh7.3 billion.