Morocco’s COVID-19 Response Strikes Balance Between Economy, Society

Mohcine Jazouli, minister delegate to the minister of foreign affairs. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Twitter

Rabat – King Mohammed VI aims to maintain a balance between economic and social priorities when guiding Morocco’s COVID-19 response, the minister delegate of foreign affairs said Tuesday. 

Mohcine Jazouli, minister delegate to the minister of foreign affairs, represented Morocco at the sixth meeting of the Steering Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

Founded in 1961, OECD strives to stimulate economic progress and world trade by providing a forum where countries share their experience of economic and social development policies.

Speaking during the meeting’s first session, titled “Building resilient and inclusive societies,” Jazouli outlined King Mohammed VI’s action plan to face the social and economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

One of the monarch’s first directives at the onset of the pandemic was the creation of Morocco’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19. The fund’s initial value stood at $1 billion, but reached more than $3.6 billion thanks to contributions from public and private actors and institutions. 

The purpose of the fund is to cover the costs of upgrading Morocco’s medical infrastructure and additional emergency means and to support the national economy. Morocco has used the fund to provide financial aid to workers, businesses, and hard-hit sectors of the economy. 

Jazouli emphasized that the fund “mobilized the whole of Moroccan society,” triggering a national solidarity movement in the face of the pandemic, with ordinary citizens and public figures alike making donations. 

King Mohammed VI’s response to COVID-19 in Morocco also includes his economic recovery plan, valued at nearly $13 billion. The King announced the plan to inject MAD 120 billion ($12.97 billion) — 11% of Morocco’s GDP — into the national economy in his July 29 Throne Day speech

The stimulus package is a means to support the resumption of economic activity in Morocco and create the conditions for a “vigorous recovery at the end of the crisis,” Jazouli said during the OECD meeting. 

Finally, Jazouli highlighted the King’s social security plan, which the monarch also announced in his Throne Day speech. Generalizing social security to all Moroccans “will remain my chief concern until all segments of society are properly covered,” the King said in July. 

The plan includes generalized health insurance (AMO), family allowances for all households, pensions for former workers, and compensation for the loss of employment.

The special fund, stimulus, and social security plan are part of Morocco’s “desire to maintain a balance between economic challenges and social imperatives” in its ongoing COVID-19 response, the minister delegate said.

To conclude, Jazouli reiterated Morocco’s support for OECD’s action plan to advance initiatives aimed at overcoming the consequences of COVID-19 and build “inclusive and resilient economies.”

Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, the OECD has continued to compile data, analysis, and recommendations on a range of topics. OECD uses the data to address emerging health, economic, and social crises, facilitate coordination, and contribute to global action.

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