The initiative will inject MAD 10 million ($1 million) into relevant research across scientific fields.
Rabat – The Ministry of Education has announced the launch of a program to promote scientific research in all fields related to COVID-19.
The ministry said in a statement on April 9 that it will invest MAD 10 million ($1 million) to support the program.
The project has a long-term objective to deploy Moroccan research task forces to work towards solutions to the coronavirus crisis, and to mitigate potential future pandemics.
In the short term, the program aims to ensure researchers are ready and equipped to carry out research projects in all fields related to COVID-19.
The research staff will need to answer questions on how to analyze the spread of COVID-19, and to come up with resolutions and recommendations for the transition from the confinement period to life post-lockdown.
The task forces will also prepare a summary about the “lessons learned” from COVID-19 and the preventive measures that should come into force in case of similar future challenges.
“The research projects should be able to understand the current situation and to analyze it at both the national and regional levels,” the ministry said.
The task forces will develop the projects at various levels across fields. At the level of science medicine, the ministry emphasized the need to promote research in the fields of virology science, immunology, health care, epidemics science, and other related fields.
At the technology level, the ministry asked the relevant task force to design medical equipment and relevant production devices.
To mitigate economic crises from this and other pandemics, some task forces will study the impacts of the pandemic at economic levels, including the unbalanced economy and unemployment.
At the socio-psychological level, the relevant task force will find means to help the education sector continue pedagogic programs amid lockdown, and means to mitigate other impacts of lockdown, including depression.
In the political sphere, a task force will discuss states of emergency and continuity of services.
The ministry asked all relevant parties and institutions to engage in the program, including scientific research institutions and universities across Morocco.
The initiative is the latest in a series of solidarity demonstrations from public institutions and individuals amid the coronavirus crisis, which have emerged on a national level since the COVID-19 outbreak was first detected in Morocco on March 2.
One such initiative was King Mohammed VI’s creation of the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19, which sparked a surge in solidarity initiatives.
The fund was inaugurated on March 15 with an initial budget of $1 billion. However, one week after its creation, the fund’s budget more than tripled thanks to donations from public and private institutions as well as independent businesspeople.
Morocco has confirmed 1,346 COVID-19 cases, including 103 recoveries and 96 fatalities.