Morocco eats into its anti-coronavirus fund
The fund was spurred by King Mohammed VI when the virus first outbroke in Morocco and gathered some 33.7 billion dirhams ($3.7 bln) thanks to generous donations from Moroccan enterprises and individuals.
The fund helped pay stipends for nearly 5 million households whose main provider had to stop working due to coronavirus lockdown, which lasted more than three months.
The fund has also helped support suffering businesses and equip hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients.
Economists are urging a new donation campaign to enable the fund to carry out its solidarity-based actions, particularly as workers in the vital tourism sector will continue to receive stipends till year’s end.
The government and tourism operators reached a deal to receive aid in return for keeping at least 80% of their staff.
Amid a rise in expenditures and steep drop in tax revenue, Morocco’s budget deficit widened to 41.9 billion dirhams in July, compared with 24.2 billion the same period last year.
Morocco is struggling to contain a surge in coronavirus cases which on August 13 rose to 37935 cases including 584 deaths and 26687 recoveries.
The Health Ministry said it will equip dispensaries with covid-19 serological tests in a move to expand its testing capacity. By August 13, Morocco carried over 1.5 million tests.