The World Bank plans to double loans to Morocco to USD2.4 billion through 2013 to support the country’s efforts to reduce mass poverty and spur growth, Moroccan government and bank officials said Feb. 16. “The World Bank will increase its loans to Morocco to USD600 million per year for the 2010-2013 period from USD300 million annually in the previous years as a signal of the credibility of its development program and reforms,” Economic Affairs Minister Nizar Baraka said. In a presentation of government strategy to reporters, Baraka and World Bank officials said the government aimed in the next few years to improve governance, expand access to basic services like drinking water, implement financial reforms and boost the competitiveness of small businesses in cities and rural areas. “Improving democracy and good governance are the key for a balanced and sustainable development,” Baraka said. (Reuters)

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