Morocco “has made tremendous efforts with regard to early childhood issues, reducing mortality rates among children & pregnant women (…) improving nutrition, widening access to primary education and healthcare”, said the Sovereign in a message sent to participants in the First National Conference on Human Development, held Thursday, in Skhirat.
However, some inadequacies remain in this field due to lack of coordination in public policy and absence of coherence of actions made on the ground. This situation is exacerbated by regional, economic and social disparities, explained the Monarch in his message read out by Interior minister Abdelouafi Laftit, before the conference themed “Early Childhood: a Commitment for the Future.”
King Mohammed VI stressed the importance of investing in the intangible aspects of human development and mainly in early childhood, that he described as “ a solid basis for building a better future for the country.”
The aim is to pool efforts, consolidate participatory mechanisms at regional level, and coordinate public policies within the framework of a multi-pronged, well-defined strategy with integrated economic, social, educational and cultural dimensions, said the King.
After a thorough and meticulous assessment of phases I and II of the implementation of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), “I have decided to launch phase III. The aim is to build on achievements and ensure a re-focusing of programs”, added the Monarch, noting that a new engineering method has been adopted to ensure human capital development for upcoming generations.
This will be achieved by overcoming, in a direct, proactive way, the basic hurdles impeding a person’s development at any stage in his or her life, supporting the segments of population facing difficult conditions, launching next-generation initiatives that create jobs and promoting income-generating activities, stressed King Mohammed VI.
The Monarch also underlined the need to come up with viable solutions to the real problems of the citizens, choosing the best methods and devising the most effective ways to overcome the hurdles impeding comprehensive human development.
The healthcare system needs to be improved by attaching greater importance to maternal and child health, thereby ensuring fair and equitable access to social services, explained the King, calling for a homogeneous offer regarding early childhood education, especially in rural areas, in order to combat school dropout.
King Mohammed VI urged participants in this first national conference on Human Development to look into issues relating to governance, finance and training to improve the quality of services and to encourage entrepreneurship and creativity.
The goal is to rise to the challenge of early childhood – which is a crucial stage in a person’s life – and to make sure “our children are open to the future in a balanced environment where justice and equity prevail, and where poverty and social exclusion do not stand in the way”, underlined the Monarch.
“These challenges can be met only if we adopt an effective approach in the governance and management of the country’s social policy”, the King insisted, affirming that this is the starting point for a new series of reform initiatives to rekindle hope and build a country for the future.