Royal humanitarian initiative, African solidarity on the move

The royal initiative to provide humanitarian aid to African countries to help them in their efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic has attracted world attention and continues to prompt praise for King Mohammed VI and for Morocco.

African leaders have commended the royal gesture, Western capitals have praised it, and international media have largely relayed the news, highlighting again the Kingdom’s African dimension.

King Mohammed VI has ordered the shipment of medical aid to help 15 African countries in their efforts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The medical supplies include nearly 8 million facemasks, 900,000 face shields, 600,000 hygiene caps, 60,000 protective clothing and 30,000 liters of sanitizers in addition to 75,000 packs of chloroquine and 15,000 packs of Azithromycin.

As soon as the first Moroccan planes started arriving in the beneficiary countries, messages of gratitude and thanks were addressed to Morocco, commending the efforts made by the Kingdom in favor of the continent.

Mauritanian Foreign Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed welcomed the royal initiative as “important” and said the aid comes in “perfect timing” and testifies to the “strength of the remarkable relations between the two countries and the two brotherly peoples.”

For his part, the Senegalese Minister of Health and Social Action, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, said that the royal initiative was the expression of “great solidarity and friendship between the two peoples”.

President Alpha Condé of Guinea welcomed the interest that King Mohammed VI grants to Guinea and to Africa in general and expressed his “great respect and admiration” for the Monarch.

The permanent representatives of the beneficiary countries to the African union have also commended the initiative, which translates, they said, the significance of solidarity in Africa and materializes how “Africa helps Africa”, while in Johannesburg, director of the office of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), Jean-Patrice Koe, said King Mohammed VI’s initiative “illustrates Morocco’s firm and permanent commitment to the continent.”

African ambassadors accredited to the United Nations in New York joined their voices to the chorus of praise, expressing the thanks and gratitude of their respective countries for this “highly commendable humanitarian gesture”.

The United States had joined the list of countries that commended Morocco’s humanitarian initiative as the US embassy in Morocco tweeted earlier this week its appreciation for the Moroccan government’s initiative, stating that the US welcomes Morocco’s “leadership in the fight against COVID-19.”

“We commend Morocco’s leadership in the fight against COVID-19 and applaud its work supporting fellow African countries through donations of crucial PPE and medical supplies,” the embassy wrote.

The tweet also reiterated the United States’ determination to continue to partner closely with Morocco to address global health challenges.

In a related development, the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed Morocco’s anti-coronavirus medical aid to African countries, noting that this solidarity action is part of the implementation of the initiative launched by King Mohammed VI on April 13, 2020, as a pragmatic and action-oriented approach.

King Mohammed VI had then suggested the launch of an initiative by African heads of state to elaborate an operational framework to help African countries manage the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative aims at facilitating joint action by African countries, at sharing experience and best practices in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and at bolstering cooperation to mitigate the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic in the continent.

International media have also hailed the royal humanitarian gesture as a genuine lesson in South-South cooperation, noting that the preventive medical equipment granted by Morocco to many African countries is a clear expression of the solidarity advocated by the Kingdom and translates the close ties and sincere relations binding Morocco to African countries, especially in difficult times.

This aid, a perfect illustration of active solidarity, should serve as an example to other African countries in order to launch initiatives, in this conjuncture which requires a strengthening of cooperation, solidarity, mutual aid, as well as the unification of efforts and positions to fight the pandemic, the international media outlined.

The medical aid has already reached many countries in the list that includes Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, Chad and Zambia.

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