Morocco: USAID & GiveDirectly NGO support agricultural cooperatives with $4 Mln Funding
U.S. Agency for International Development and the International NGO GiveDirectly are providing an additional $4 million to support Moroccan agricultural cooperatives suffering from recent economic shocks, including the Covid-19 pandemic, drought, inflation, and a global food crisis sparked by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
At the end of September, the U.S. Congress approved $2 million for a USAID program for Morocco, under special legislation aiming to alleviate the worst effects of the food crisis, says USAID in a press release.
GiveDirectly, an NGO based in New York that specializes in digital cash transfers, is providing $2 million in matching funds through the Cooperative Financing Program (CFP), which has already distributed $5.5 million to 607 cooperatives in the Marrakech-Safi and Beni Mellal-Khenifra regions, assisting nearly 4,000 Moroccans.
An additional 486 cooperatives in the regions of Draa-Tafilalet, Fes-Meknes, and Oriental regions have been enrolled in the program, bringing the total number of cooperatives to 1,093 and the total number of beneficiaries to over 7,000 people.
Cooperatives play a vital role in Morocco’s economic and social development. CFP, implemented by GiveDirectly, provides direct grants of $8,170 to cooperatives working across a variety of economic sectors, including agriculture, handicrafts, and tourism.
This program provides cash infusions to cooperatives, enabling them to purchase equipment and raw materials. It also provides training to promote the cooperatives’ growth and resilience, especially during a period of economic hardship.
More than 59 percent of grant recipients thus far are women, and 32 percent are youth; and over 56 percent of CFP-assisted cooperatives work in agriculture, which is the focus sector for this new $4 million infusion.
With this new funding, USAID anticipates that more than 330 agriculture and agribusiness cooperatives in the most vulnerable provinces of the Draa-Tafilalet, Fes-Meknes, and Oriental regions will receive cash grants.
CFP cash grants will strengthen household and community resilience to economic shocks and stress, as well as increase opportunities for marginalized women, youth, and people with disabilities.