After revealing its growth forecasts for the year 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the economies of countries that have started early vaccination against Covid-19 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) return to their pre-epidemic levels next year.
The region has seen its real GDP growth decline by 3.4% in 2020 due to the fall in oil prices and the closures imposed to prevent the spread of the phantom virus, says the same source.
The IMF said earlier that GDP growth in the Middle East and North Africa region will reach 4% in 2020, up 0.9% from previous expectations unveiled in October.
In its latest report on the regional economic outlook published on Sunday, April 11, the IMF predicted that the GDP levels currently recorded would return in 2022 to the same level of 2019 thanks to the early vaccination.
In contrast, the recovery process is expected to take place in countries that experience slowness and lag in immunization, between 2022 and 2023.
Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department of the International Monetary Fund, said that “ recovery is on a mixed track, where vaccine administration plays an important role in determining the effectiveness and depth of recovery ”.
” Growth has multiple speeds and takes place at different levels between those who rush to administer the vaccine to quickly achieve immunization for their entire population, or at least 75% of them, and those who will be slow to immunize or will be late” , he added.
Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly the Gulf countries, have launched large-scale vaccination campaigns, while access to vaccine stocks for many other countries remains a major challenge. due to limited quantities of vaccines, internal conflicts and limited financial resources.
Morocco, a good student
Morocco has also had the chance to place its vaccine orders on time and launch its national vaccination campaign in total vaccination (1st and 2nd doses) more than 4 million Moroccans, in priority people at risk and at the front facing virus (doctors, law enforcement, etc.).
Azour, who spoke on Sunday at a press briefing on the latest Regional Economic Outlook established by the IMF, said that the Kingdom is among “the most advanced countries”.
“It is the most advanced African country and in the MENA region, if we exclude the oil-producing countries of the Gulf, Morocco is one of the most advanced countries,” he said, noting that “the all the actions undertaken (at the level of production, but also at the social and banking level) have enabled Morocco to strengthen its growth for this year and also put itself on a better trajectory for the future, for the resumption of growth and to build a more integrated and economically stronger economy ”.
For the official at the IMF, Morocco has taken into account two lessons of this crisis: First, the importance of the social, the government having launched a major project to reform the social protection system, and developed a series of protection mechanisms for the most vulnerable.
“At the same time,” he continued, “the management of monetary policy and exchange rate policy by the central bank also made it possible to strengthen this stability, which enabled Morocco, after having drawn on its Precautionary line and of Liquidity (LPL) with the Fund, to go to the market with an issue that was very positive with fairly high support from investors, which also enabled Morocco to strengthen its reserve levels ”, continued the head of the international monetary institution ”.
Still on the side of the IMF, and after having experienced a decline of 4.8% in 2020, the oil-rich Gulf countries should experience growth of 2.7% this year. Lebanon, which suffers from economic, social and political crises, is the only country in the region whose economic activity is expected to decline this year after experiencing a significant 25% contraction last year.