Thu, 26 May 2022

VIENNA, 13th April, 2022 (WAM) -- The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$100 million loan agreement with the government of Morocco to help build an inclusive financial sector as part of broader efforts to modernise the economy and support the Kingdom's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the "Financial and Digital Inclusion Programme", co-financed with the World Bank, the government of Morocco will implement reforms to provide households and firms with affordable, transparent and sustainable financial services - a key plank in its five-year strategy that aims to create a more enabling business environment.

The programme will help expand digital financial services, such as insurance, credit and banking, to provide individuals and small businesses with increased and easy access to financial systems.

The OPEC Fund's loan will cover two main pillars. The first aims to ensure financial inclusion by diversifying financing and payment sources for individuals and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by leveraging technology and supporting alternative financing models and infrastructure.

The second goal is to finance reforms to help digital entrepreneurs and MSMEs harness economic opportunities, while nurturing the economic inclusion of youth, women and graduates.

OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said, "Inclusive innovation is a key enabler of sustainable development. This loan, which focuses on financial and digital inclusion, will help to empower the more vulnerable and impacted populations such as youth, women, small businesses and entrepreneurs and bolster the country's long-term sustainable economic recovery."

OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC, including the United Arab Emirates. The development finance institution is established as an aid channel to developing countries.

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