GEF ENVITECC Support to Guelmim-Oued Noun Region in Morocco

07 Dec 2023

The EBRD is providing a MAD 130 million (€12 million) loan to the Guelmim-Oued Noun region in Morocco to improve drinking water supply in rural areas and to upgrade four existing wastewater treatment plants.

This is a trigger investment that will initiate the region’s participation in the EBRD Green Cities programme and accelerate Morocco’s environmental agenda by helping to transform one of its key regions. It is also the Bank’s first municipal loan to a region in Morocco. The EBRD will co-finance investments aimed at increasing access to drinking water for households in rural areas in the province of Guelmim by rehabilitating and extending drinking water systems, thereby reducing water losses in the supply network. This investment will address regional disparities and promote the more efficient use of water.

The Bank’s funds are supplemented by a US$ 1 million investment grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under the Environmental Technology Transfer (ENVITECC) programme. The GEF’s grant, together with the EBRD funds, will co-finance the upgrading of four wastewater treatment plants and recycling systems in the cities of Guelmim, Lakhssas, Tan Tan and Mirleft. These upgrades will mean significant quantities of water can be saved: approximately 10 million mof treated wastewater will be reused each year for watering green spaces and green belts in the region. The investment will therefore promote the circular economy as an effective framework for sustainable water management.

The EBRD’s loan will be supported by a guarantee from the European Union (EU) through its European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) guarantee programme. A technical assistance component, funded by the EU, will help the region to identify appropriate operational and maintenance solutions for rural water supply services, as well as an adequate management model for using recycled water to ensure the investments are sustainable.

A Green City Action Plan (GCAP) will also be developed with the GEF ENVITECC’s support to help the city identify and prioritise its most pressing environmental challenges, and support the development and implementation of a plan outlining investments and policy actions. The GCAP will also cover digital, inclusion and gender considerations, and will include recommendations to promote human capital development and gender equality.

The signing ceremony took place on 6 December 2023 during COP28 in Dubai, more news available at the EBRD website.