5 cooperation programs for 5.5 billion dirhams

The European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, signed this Thursday with the Minister Delegate for the Budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, 5 cooperation programs amounting to 5.5 billion dirhams to support major construction projects Kingdom reform.

Visiting Morocco since Wednesday, the European Commissioner moved to launch new cooperation projects which are part of the strengthening of the strategic partnership between Rabat and Brussels, and more specifically the implementation of the Political Declaration joint, adopted in June 2019, having established the “Euro-Moroccan Partnership for Shared Prosperity”.

“Morocco is and will remain an essential partner for the European Union. Less than a year after my visit to Morocco where I presented our renewed partnership with our southern neighbors and our economic and investment plan, I am proud to announce that the EU has started its implementation” , said the European Commissioner.

The programs focus on supporting the country’s main priorities of social protection, green transition, access to finance, public administration and youth employment, as well as an ambitious program in support of the strategy Moroccan National for Migration and Mobility.

In detail, the new commitments signed support these 5 programs:

Support for the strengthening of social protection through the “KARAMA” program, amounting to 1.43 billion dirhams (130 million euros), which will support the major reform of social protection, which is one of the main priorities of the Moroccan government. This program will support specific actions aimed at ensuring equitable access to universal health coverage, family allowances, unemployment insurance and pensions for the Moroccan population.

At the same time, the program will strengthen social assistance and the rights of vulnerable people including protection and care, including for migrants.

The “Green Earth” program which supports the green transition within the framework of the commitments of the EU-Morocco Green Partnership. It aims to support the green, inclusive and innovative aspects of two national strategies, in agriculture with “Green Generation” and in forestry with “Forêts du Maroc”, as well as the improvement of decent employment, “green” entrepreneurship » and the social coverage of workers in rural areas.

Four agro-forestry areas are targeted: Tetouan-Tangier-Al Hoceima, Beni Mellal-Khenifra, Draa-Tafilalet and Oriental. This program, worth 1.26 billion dirhams (115 million euros), includes the contribution of 15 million euros already paid to Morocco under the 2022 Food and Resilience Facility.

Support for the reform of public administration, in particular for the digitization of administrative services and procedures. The 550 million dirhams (50 million euros) program will strengthen access and quality of public services for citizens and businesses, by simplifying and digitizing administrative procedures, enhancing transparency and monitoring quality of the delivery of public services.

It will also contribute to the decentralization of administrative services, bringing the administration closer to citizens and businesses and to the digitization of online services.

The last two programs support migration management and the national strategy for financial inclusion. The first, with an envelope of 1.67 billion dirhams (152 million euros), will strengthen the management of Morocco’s borders as well as the integration of migrants and refugees, in accordance with the National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum ( SNIA).

It will also support actions in the fields of the fight against smuggling networks and the protection of refugees and migrants, as well as the voluntary return and reintegration of migrants in their country of origin, in accordance with international standards in matters of human rights.

And support of 561 million dirhams (51 million euros) to support the national strategy for financial inclusion, should help facilitate and increase access to financing for VSMEs and start-ups. This strategy is particularly targeted for vulnerable populations such as young people, women and people who live in rural areas.

Varhelyi’s visit is the first visit by a European official after the European Parliament’s resolution on press freedom in Morocco adopted in January and the corruption case at the level of the same institution which wants to implicate Morocco.

The European official is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on the evolution of bilateral relations and the prospects for their development on Thursday.

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