Rabat – The Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Benchaaboun, and the director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Brooke Sherman signed the agreement on July 3 in Rabat.
At the signing, the director of USAID stated that the agreement marked “a new era” in the collaboration between the agency and Morocco.
The latest donation is a substantial sum, more than four times the amount USAID granted for one of USAID’s most recent major projects “Career Centers.”
USAID donated $24 million and assisted with developing the Career Centers program. The initiative, which assists Moroccans to transition from education to employment, was launched in 2015 and will run until 2020.
Since 2001, USAID has donated close to $500 million to Morocco, to fund a large number of initiatives across a variety of sectors including education, employment, health ,and resource management.
According to USAID figures, 97% of the funds go towards economic development projects, while 3% go towards military initiatives.
The majority of USAID funding, the latest figures indicate $231 million, goes to education sector initiatives.
The substantially larger $94 million granted by USAID yesterday will go towards a development program made of up three components, according to the press release by the Ministry.
The first component involves an integrated local development program which will cover the economic growth and governance sectors in the regions of Marrakech-Safi and Beni Mellal-Khenifra.
The second provides for the creation of public-private partnerships, which will include the launch of a virtual reality and augmented reality technology center at an as yet unnamed Moroccan university.
The third component will support activities that reinforce community resilience, by strengthening the capacity of key institutions and civil society organizations in providing services to at-risk youth.
The signing ceremony was attended by a number of US and Moroccan officials including the chargee d’affaires of the US embassy to Morocco, Jennifer Rasamimana, the State Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mounia Boucetta, as well as representatives of the Ministry for the Interior, and the Ministry for National Education.