The Moroccan organizers of next month’s Annual Meetings with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) welcomed the decision to go on with the Marrakesh events, despite damage from a magnitude-6.8 earthquake that struck the region on September 8.
“Marrakesh is ready for the world’s most significant economic and financial gathering,” said the Morocco AM2023 team in a social media message on Tuesday. “The decision to maintain the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings in Marrakesh post-earthquake is a vote of confidence and support for Morocco.”
Abdellatif Jouahri, the head of the Central Bank of Morocco (Bank Al-Maghrib), assured the global community that Marrakesh will be ready to move forward after the quake, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
Morocco’s response followed a joint statement from IMF and World Bank that reiterated the intent to stay in Marrakesh, the city chosen for this year’s Annual Meetings. Finance ministers and central bank governors from 189 member countries are expected to attend from October 9 through October 15.
“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,” the statement said.
“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. 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.”
Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance says it is the first in Africa to host the meeting since Kenya welcomed the event 50 years ago.
“Morocco’s hosting of these Annual Meetings is a recognition by both institutions of King Mohammed VI’s leadership and the major progress achieved by the kingdom over the past 24 years,” the ministry said.
Image: Morocco AM2023