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Morocco: King criticises government’s social programs

King Mohammed VI of Morocco [File photo]
King Mohammed VI of Morocco [File photo]

Moroccan monarch King Mohammed VI has ordered his country’s government to “carry out a comprehensive and profound restructuring of social affairs,” especially regarding health and education.

In a televised statement on Sunday evening marking the 19th anniversary of his accession to the throne, the Moroccan king said that despite progress in Morocco, he felt that “something is lacking in the social arena.”

The King criticised the programs of support and social protection, to which “tens of billions of dirhams are allocated and which are scattered among several ministerial sectors and are suffering overlap, lack of consistency among them, and the inability to target the right categories that deserve these aids.”

The King called for the acceleration of the establishment of “the Unified Social Register, a national family registration system to benefit from social support programs”, and for “a comprehensive and profound restructuring of national programs and policies.”

READ: Keen on reinforcing ties with Morocco, says Algerian President

Morocco has been suffering from a marked social disparity due to the high unemployment rates among young people. In 2017, the country ranked 123 out of 188 countries on the Human Growth Index.

In recent months, the public bodies have been mainly discussing the search for a “new form of development.”

In his statement, the King called for “a strong boost to the education support programs,” and “a radical review of the national health system, which is witnessing major disparities and weak management.”

The King delivered his speech in Al Hoceima (in northern Morocco), where that have been numerous protests against “marginalisation” over several months after a young fish seller died in a garbage collection vehicle. The leaders of the movement were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in late June.

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In his speech, the 54-year-old King did not address the crisis the city and its suburbs have been suffering.

The King issued an amnesty order for a group of prisoners on the occasion of the Throne Day (The day of accession to the throne), including detainees, and others who have been in a release situation, in addition to 1204 people who have been sentenced from the various courts of the Kingdom.

After his speech, the King headed a special meeting to “implement the measures” he announced in his speech. The Prime Minister and about ten ministers have participated in the conference, according to a statement by the Moroccan Royal Cabinet.

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