April 15, 2024

(Bloomberg) — The International Monetary Fund and World Bank will stick with plans to hold their annual meetings in Morocco in October despite a devastating earthquake earlier this month that claimed about 3,000 lives.

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The IMF and World Bank said an assessment concluded that the meetings, scheduled for October 9-15, wouldn’t disrupt relief and reconstruction but would “provide an opportunity for the international community to stand by Morocco and its people, who have once again shown resilience in the face of tragedy,”

“As we look ahead to the Meetings, it is of utmost importance that we conduct them in a way that does not hamper the relief efforts under way and that is respectful to the victims and the Moroccan people,” said the statement.

The North African kingdom had said in the aftermath of the Sept. 8 quake that it was committed to holding the gathering. The epicenter of Morocco’s most powerful temblor in a century struck south of Marrakech in the High Atlas mountains and damaged some of the city.

The first annual meetings by the multinational lenders on the African continent since 1973 are expected to give a major spending boost to Morocco’s fourth-largest city, one of the country’s top tourist destinations. The upcoming meetings were originally scheduled for 2021, but had been delayed because of the pandemic.

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