Morocco and an independent agency of the US government have been working together for nearly 60 years to improve the lives of Moroccan citizens.
Rabat – Morocco and USAID, a US international development and humanitarian organization, have been working collaboratively on development projects since the 1960s with a particular focus on youth employability, citizen participation in governance, and primary school education.
Morocco’s government has created its own policies to counter these issues and USAID funding and programming is intended to support and expand upon the work the Moroccan government is already doing.
Morocco is one of the US’s oldest allies in the MENA region and the US has been providing economic assistance to Moroccan development initiatives since the country achieved its independence in 1957. After USAID was founded in 1961, it launched a series of projects in Morocco.
Over time, partnerships between Morocco and USAID have increased access to credit for investors and entrepreneurs, as well as improved infrastructure throughout the country.
Additionally, USAID has provided 20 years of assistance to Morocco’s water sector – improving water resource management in the Souss-Massa River Basin and building the Mohammed V and Mechra Homadi dams. The project “H2O Maghreb” continues improvements in this field today.
USAID also has a 30-year partnership with Morocco’s Ministry of Health in family planning and has played a role in reducing maternal and infant mortality.
Most recently, Morocco and USAID signed a $94 million dollar agreement Wednesday, July 3, to finance a multi-faceted socio-economic development project that addresses topics ranging from improving local economic growth to supporting at-risk youth.
During the meeting, the Moroccan Minister of Finance acknowledged his satisfaction with the quality of past USAID projects and the success of previous collaborations between Morocco and the US.
Recent achievements have centered on youth education and employability.
Notably, the Favorable Opportunities to Reinforce Self-Advancement for Today’s Youth (FORSATY) program aims to strengthen bonds between young people and their community to prevent youth delinquency in nine marginalized neighborhoods in Northern Morocco.
FORSATY has reached approximately 22,000 at-risk youth, and 4,500 have been helped to find jobs or internships since 2013.
Additionally, over 100,000 youth have benefited from USAID Career Center services, including 33,000 who have received work-readiness training.
In partnership with the Ministry of National Education, USAID established training for teachers and programming for young students learning to read. The 2015 pilot program reached 12,000 students and 340 teachers.
The program was implemented nationwide in 2017, with hopes of countering high illiteracy rates.
USAID aims to simultaneously further American interests in markets and trade abroad while improving lives and promoting democratic values in over 100 countries abroad. The organizations’ underlying goal is for its partners to become self-reliant and able to develop on their own.