European investment bank to offer Morocco $1 billion euro loan

MARRAKECH (Reuters) – The European Investment Bank said on Wednesday it will lend Morocco 1 billion euros ($1.06 billion) over the next three years to support the north African country’s reconstruction efforts after a September earthquake.

The loan was announced by EIB Vice President Ricardo Mourinho Felix after a meeting with Morocco’s budget minister Fouzi Lekjaa in Marrakech on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings.

The earthquake that struck on Sept. 8 killed nearly 3,000 people and damaged 60,000 homes, mostly in the High Atlas mountains.

Overall, Morocco plans to spend $12 billion on a post-earthquake reconstruction plan that includes the upgrade of infrastructure over the next five years.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Chris Reese and Bill Berkrot)