The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed ODA loan agreements of up to 165;13.756bn (US$113mn), with the government of Morocco, the Holding d’Amlsquo nagement Al Omrane and the Office National de L”Eau Potable (ONEP). The loans will fund several projects including the Watershed Management Project, the Urban Areas Living Environment Improvement Project and the Sewage System Development Project (II).

These projects support measures to reduce regional disparities, improve employment opportunities and alleviate poverty. Both the government and the private sector are united in an effort to address these issues through the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), as proposed by King Mohammed VI in May 2005. JBIC is also helping to improve Morocco’s environment, with a strong emphasis on combating pollution in urban areas.

The main objectives of the loans are to support the preservation of forest resources as well as environmental improvement and sanitary reform. The Watershed Management Project aims to provide comprehensive protection of forest resources in watersheds and support the development of regional villages.

Pollution countermeasures in urban areas are a high priority for JBIC. The Urban Areas Living Environment Improvement Project will help to improve the environment by installing a basic infrastructure to unsanitary areas in regional cities near Rabat, giving inhabitants increased access to basic social services. The Sewage System Development Project (II) will help to rehabilitate existing sewage processing facilities in small and mid-sized cities. These projects are vital for the effective use of water resources in Morocco, which lies in arid and semi-arid regions.