The European Union announced on Wednesday a €169 million support package for Morocco to enable this country enhance further its medical response to the coronavirus pandemic and put in place measures to mitigate its socio-economic impact.
EU Neighborhood commissioner Olivér Várhelyi said : “Today’s disbursement shows that the European Union stands by Morocco in its efforts to curb the pandemic, protect poor families and to get its economy back on its feet”.
“Morocco is an important partner of the EU and we are in this fight together”, he added.
This latest payment is part of the EU’s commitment to mobilize €450 million in support of Morocco in the context of the fight against coronavirus.
Since early March, a previous €264 million has already been paid out to Morocco. This support has allowed Morocco to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the health sector and to address the social and economic impact of the pandemic.
From the outset of the pandemic, Morocco adopted stringent sanitary measures, including lockdowns, which have hit hard both the economy and tens of thousands of vulnerable persons and families.
In an effort to protect families but also the SMEs that make up Morocco’s industrial fabric, Moroccan authorities put in place a set of financial support programs. These include tax deferment, guaranteed loans and grants to SMEs as well as emergency allowances to vulnerable families.
For 2014-2020, around €1.4 billion (about €200 million/year) has been allocated for the bilateral assistance to Morocco focused on supporting inclusive development and equitable access to basic social services (education, health, social protection), democratic governance, the rule of law and development of civil society and support for the private sector, sustainable growth and job creation, especially amongst the youth.