The objective of the Municipal Performance Program-for-Results Project for Morocco is to improve the institutional and service delivery performance of Participating Municipalities.
Morocco, a lower-middle-income country of about 34 million people, has almost eliminated extreme poverty, reduced poverty, and promoted shared prosperity over the past 15 years. The national poverty line (2.15 US Dollars per day) fell from 15.3 percent of the population in 2001 to 4.8 percent in 2014, while extreme poverty was eradicated.
Morocco has sustained pro-poor growth and has invested in education, health, and other social services. Yet, pockets of poverty remain across the country and territorial disparities reflect deep social and economic inequalities.
Given Morocco's sustained urbanization trend, supporting the development and governance of cities is a key challenge for the future of the country.
Morocco's continuing population growth is taking place in its cities, while rural population started decreasing around 2015. Although the rate of population growth has been decreasing in the wake of a rapid demographic transition (it went from 1.38 percent in 2004 to 1.25 percent in 2014), the country continues to urbanize.
According to the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects (2014), 74 percent of Moroccans will live in cities in 2050 as opposed to 60.3 percent in 2014.
Moroccan cities will house an additional population of 5.8 million in the next 15 years, 50 percent of which will be concentrated in larger cities.
While Moroccan cities have proven to be engines of economic growth for the country, they have not been fully delivering on their potential. Along with the concentration of people, urbanization has led to the increasing concentration of economic activities in cities, which are estimated to account for about 75 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).