World Bank, IMF meetings to proceed in Morocco despite quake

Tuesday September 19 2023

International Monetary Funds Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. PHOTO | AFP


The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have confirmed that their annual meetings will go ahead in Morocco as planned next month despite a deadly earthquake near the event site.

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Al-Haouz province south of Marrakesh on September 8, killing nearly 3,000 people and injuring thousands more.

In a joint statement released on Monday, World Bank President Ajay Banga, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Moroccan Finance Minister Nadia Fettah Alaoui said they had worked together to "thoroughly assess" Marrakesh's capacity to host the meetings.

"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," they added.

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The annual gathering of world leaders hosted by the two international financial institutions was initially scheduled to be held in Marrakesh in 2021 but was postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


This year's meetings will be the first since the appointment of the former Mastercard chief executive Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank on a pledge to bring more private sector funding into development and climate financing.

"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," Banga, Georgieva and Alaoui said.