OP-ED_Nasser_Bourita Op-Ed, “Carte Blanche” of Agence Europe: Morocco’s solidarity with its Continent and its partners. FM Nasser Bourita - Embassy of Morocco in South Africa


Tuesday 30 June 2020
Throughout its national efforts to face the public health challenges, Morocco has continued to show solidarity with its continent and its partners.

Covid-19 has spared no country, region or continent. In the Euro-Mediterranean area, as well as in Africa and Europe, it has struck indiscriminately, but with a degree of differentiation.

Firstly, there was differentiation in the timing: it hit the European countries before spreading to the Maghreb region and sub-Saharan Africa. Then, there were differences in scale: there have been almost as many cases in certain European countries as in all 54 African countries put together. And finally, in terms of impact: Africa has seen the most devastating consequences in socio-economic terms.

This differentiation did not prevent dialogue, cooperation and solidarity on either side of the Mediterranean and within each area.

On the 10 of April 2020, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God Assist Him, held a telephone conversation with His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, to discuss the coordination of bilateral and international efforts to tackle Covid-19.

On 13 April, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God Assist Him, launched the initiative of the African Heads of States to accompany the continent’s efforts in the various phases of pandemic management.

To make this initiative of solidarity a reality, substantial medical aid was granted, on Royal Instructions, to some 20 fellow African States from all sub-regions of the continent. Masks, visors, scrubs, sanitizing gel and other medication were all produced by Moroccan companies in accordance with WHO standards.

In the same spirit of solidarity, Morocco was proud to contribute to the fundraising campaign launched by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, for a fund to finance research into a vaccine and treatment for the virus.

Morocco, which firmly believes that solidarity is not a one-way cooperation, made a financial commitment and stands ready to make its pharmaceutical platforms available. An effective and accessible vaccine will be the turning point in the fight against the pandemic.

The EU has also stood alongside Morocco. Some €450 million has been redirected from the Morocco-EU cooperation funds aiming to support Morocco’s efforts to offset the socio-economic consequences of the public health crisis.

Although it is not yet time for a final review of the situation, considerable progress has been made at national level. The efforts that have been made for nearly four months are starting to pay off. The fatality rate has fallen from 12 to less than 2%. Economic activities are starting to return to ‘normal’.

Morocco acted early and decisively. As soon as the first cases were confirmed in the country, the Authorities took every precaution: border closures, lockdown, limiting activities, travel restrictions and increasingly widespread testing.

Beyond the health crisis, Morocco has faced an unprecedented challenge. At the Initiative of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God Assist Him, a special fund has been established to meet the urgent and concurrent needs of public health, economic survival and social support.

In a remarkable surge of national solidarity, this fund has collected more than €3 billion in voluntary donations within the space of few weeks.

Throughout its national efforts to face the public health challenges, Morocco has remained united with its continent and its partners.

By registering in a spirit of solidarity North-South, South-South and South-North, Morocco materializes its commitment for bi-continental pact Euro-African.