Today, the European Union has disbursed €169 million of the COVID-19 support package for Morocco to help the authorities beef up the medical response to the coronavirus pandemic and put in place measures to mitigate its socio-economic impact.
Neighbourhood and Enlargement commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi, commented: “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. Boosting growth and jobs to ensure livelihoods and keep businesses affected by the current crisis afloat is a crucial priority for both sides. Morocco is an important partner of the EU and we are in this fight together”.
This latest payment is part of the EU’s commitment to mobilise €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 small and medium-sized enterprises that make up Morocco’s industrial fabric, the Government of Morocco has put in place a set of financial support programmes. These support programmes – which include tax deferment, guaranteed loans and grants to SMEs as well as emergency allowances to vulnerable families – have taken a heavy toll on public finances. Today’s EU support helps Morocco successfully implement these measures.
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.