WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have decided to hold their annual meetings in Morocco in October despite a recent earthquake that killed more than 2,900 people, a source familiar with the decision said Monday.
The decision, made on Monday by senior IMF and World Bank officials, came at the request of Moroccan authorities, who had pressed the global institutions to proceed with the Oct 9-15 gathering in Marrakech, just 72km from the site of the 6.8-magnitude quake on Sept 8.
No comment was immediately available from the IMF, World Bank or the Moroccan embassy.
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters on Friday that a decision would be made Monday after a “thorough review” of the country’s ability to host the meetings.
Questions had swirled over whether the earthquake in the High Atlas Mountains would disrupt plans for the meetings in Morocco’s tourist hub of Marrakech, which are expected to bring some 10,000-15,000 to the city.
Georgieva told Reuters that Morocco’s prime minister told her it would be “quite devastating” for Morocco’s hospitality sector if the meetings were moved to a different location.
It was not immediately clear if the meetings would be scaled back in some way.