Morocco expands hospital services with US$8 million OPEC Fund loan

No. 13/2001

    Vienna, February 9, 2001
    The OPEC Fund for International Development today signed a US$8 million loan agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco to help improve medical services in and around the southern city of Marrakech. Loan proceeds will be used to cofinance the creation of a new university hospital in the city by expanding and rehabilitating two existing facilities, the Ibn Tofail and Ibn Nafess hospitals. In addition to providing enhanced health care, the university hospital will offer increased opportunities for medical training and research in the region.
    With a rapidly growing population and a shortage of adequately equipped hospitals, severe strain has been placed on southern Morocco's existing medical facilities, causing a decline in the region's ability to deliver appropriate health care services. Furthermore, as well as being the country's poorest region, there is a large discrepancy in the quality and availability of health services available in urban and rural areas, with only half of the rural population receiving proper health care.
    Accorded high priority by the Government, the project will involve the construction of seven new buildings, with a total floor area of 43,000 m², to house facilities for surgical wards, maternity services and radiotherapy. It will also cover the rehabilitation of 29,000 m² of existing buildings to accommodate radiology and psychiatric wards. In addition, medical equipment, spare parts and supplies, along with necessary furniture such as desks and chairs, will be provided for both the new and rehabilitated premises.
    Upon completion, the project will help meet the demand for better hospital facilities, while alleviating pressure on university hospitals in Rabat and Casablanca. Not only will the region expand its capacity by 310 beds but, because of the new Faculty of Medicine under construction near Ibn Tofail Hospital, the project will also help meet the region's urgent need for medical training and teaching facilities. Under the proposed project, some seven million people, of whom over 60% live in rural areas, will benefit from improved medical services.
    Morocco has been the recipient of Fund support on nine previous occasions with loans supporting projects in the sectors of energy, agriculture and national development banks.
    Today's agreement was signed in Vienna by HE Dr. Tajeddine Baddou, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Austria, and by HE Dr. Saleh A. Al-Omair, Chairman of the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund.
    Project: Marrakech University Hospital
    Sector: Health
    OPEC Fund loan: US$8 million
    Lending terms: Interest rate of 2.25% per annum, with an annual
    service charge of 1% on amounts withdrawn and
    outstanding; maturity of 17 years, including a grace
    period of 5 years.
    Borrower: Kingdom of Morocco
    Executing agency: Ministry of Public Health
    Implementation period: 3½ years
    Appraising agency: OPEC Fund
    Loan administrator: OPEC Fund
    Cofinanciers: Saudi Fund for Development
    Government of Morocco
    Total cost: US$51.17 million
    Project description: The project comprises the following components:

    ● construction of seven new buildings with a floor
    area of 43,000 m2;
    ● rehabilitation of 29,000 m² of existing buildings;
    ● provision and installation of medical equipment;
    ● provision of all necessary furniture; and
    ● consultancy services.