An ongoing 10-year-long strategy aims to offer basic health and social coverage to all Moroccan citizens.
Rabat – Social security is one of the main projects in Morocco because of its social dimensions, said Moroccan Minister of Labor Mohamed Amekraz ahead of Labor Day.
Morocco was resolutely engaged in the social security project even before the COVID-19 crisis, Amekraz announced on Thursday, April 30.
The minister explained Morocco’s vision for the working class in a statement for Labor Day, celebrated on May 1.
In November 2019, the Interministerial Commission for the Piloting of Social Security Reform developed an integrated 2020-2030 strategy. The plan aims to guarantee access to basic healthcare and social security to all citizens, as well as financial aid and social benefits for people in precarious situations.
As part of the strategy, the Moroccan government implemented a series of programs revolving around three axes: The development of social security systems, their extension to cover new groups of citizens, and the improvement of their governance.
Amekraz illustrated the measures by recalling the creation of the Job Loss Compensation Fund. The government has approved the fund to support citizens in between jobs and allocated MAD 54 million ($5.5 million) annually for it.
The minister also mentioned the issue of the pension system, explaining that the Ministry of Economy has launched a study to reform the pension system based on a private-public partnership.
In 2018, a report from Morocco’s Economic, Social, and Environmental Council (CECE) found the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) has been operating on a “technical” deficit since 2018 and will reach a total deficit in 2027. The council also predicted CNSS reserves will run out by 2044 and called for a reform to ensure long-term financial balance.
In an effort to shore up pension funds, the Moroccan government has privatized several public establishments.
In November 2019, Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun announced the Moroccan Pension Fund (CMR) would buy five university hospital centers. The move is expected to generate money for the fund in the long term.
Nearly two-thirds of Moroccan citizens (64%) are included in a social security plan, revealed Amekraz. The plans include CNSS, CMR, the Interprofessional Moroccan Pension Fund (CIMR), and the Medical Assistance Plan (RAMED), as well as other schemes for students and by private insurance companies.
The share of Moroccan citizens benefiting from social security is set to increase after Obligatory Medical Insurance (AMO) starts covering several freelance professions.
The government is currently working on a project that would progressively extend social and medical coverage to reach over 5.5 million self-employed professionals and freelance workers.
In October 2019, the first phase of the project became official when a decree included notaries, midwives, and rehabilitation professionals in the AMO.
The Ministry of Labor is conducting several meetings with stakeholders to make the coverage available for several sectors of workers, including health professionals, taxi drivers, auto-entrepreneurs, judicial officers, tour guides, merchants, artisans, and farmers.
In 2019, the Moroccan economy generated 165,000 net new jobs, leading to a slight decrease in the unemployment rate from 9.5% in 2018 to 9.2%. The new jobs also increased Morocco’s employed population from 10.81 million in 2018 to 10.98 million in 2019.
Morocco’s employment and professional integration programs have also helped over 100,000 job seekers get employed, concluded Amekraz.