Rabat – Business expert Najib Benamour published a lengthy review in Forbes France magazine to celebrate Morocco’s “major response plan” to fight against the spread of COVID-19 and to address its socio-economic impacts.
Benamour, who is the Executive Secretary General of the Moroccan Institute of Strategic Intelligence, recalled Morocco’s decision to impose a nationwide lockdown on March 20 and its measures to support its populations most affected by the slowdown in economic activity
Thousands of formal and informal workers stopped working due to the lockdown, which allows only essential businesses to continue in-person operations.
In response, Morocco’s government launched an assistance campaign for people in need. Moroccans whose livelihoods are suspended due to COVID-19-related measures can benefit from stipends offered through the country’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19.
King Mohammed VI launched the fund, which has more than MAD 35 billion ($3 billion), on March 15.
“The kingdom has set up an economic watch committee (CVE), to ‘assess and anticipate the direct and indirect economic repercussions of Covid-19,’” Benamour wrote.
The expert emphasized that the committee adopted a series of support measures in favor of workers and companies in the private sector affected by the slowdown or the suspension of activity linked to the pandemic.
The Forbes article reviewed all pandemic response measures that the country has undertaken, including the decision of Moroccan Social Security Fund (CNSS) to compensate all affected employees who are registered with the CNSS.
Affected workers must make a declaration of pay suspension at the CNSS portal, www.covid19.cnss.ma
A total of 113,000 companies declared a temporary work suspension on March 15 due to measures to contain the COVID-19
crisis, Minister of Employment Mohamed Amekraz said.
The CVE also decided to compensate informal sector workers who “no longer have income due to confinement,” through the National Medical Assistance Program (RAMED
Benamour further recalled that banks are postponing loan repayments for the months of March, April, May, and June, without imposing any additional fees or penalties.
“These will be carried over to the end of the credit after the last scheduled deadline,” Benamour highlighted.
The expert cited the review of American rating agency Fitch Ratings, which emphasized in a report that Morocco should be able to overcome the economic setbacks of the COVID-19 crisis.
Benamour said that the agency believes Morocco has enough buffers to manage coronavirus pressures on top of a drought, thanks in large part to the country’s recent decision to adjust the flexibility of its exchange rate regime.
Spanish news outlet El Pais published an article on March 22 to celebrate Morocco’s measures to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Morocco was at the top of the list of countries who have adopted the most confinement measures in their fight against the coronavirus,” El Pais remarked. “Not even China implemented something like this in all of its territory.”