Rabat – More than half of Morocco’s refugee population hails from Syria and Yemen, according to the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP).
HCP conducted a survey from June 2-8 on the impact of COVID-19 on Morocco’s refugee population, analyzing how the pandemic has affected their psychological and socio-economic conditions.
According to HCP, Morocco is home to 7,000 people classified as refugees.
Of this demographic, 61% are male and 39% are female.
Some 30.3% are under the age of 18, compared to 67.2% who are between the ages of 18 and 59. Refugees aged 60 and over make up 2.5% of the total refugee population in the country.
Where do Morocco’s refugees live?
The survey found that Rabat, Casablanca, and Ouja host 35.8% of Morocco’s refugee population.
The majority, 14.6%, reside in Rabat, followed by Casablanca with 13.9% and Oujda with 7.3%.
Other cities home to significant refugee populations include Nador (6.5%), Kenitra (6.4%), and Fez (6.4%).
Sale is home to 5.4% of the country’s refugees, while Meknes welcomes 5.3%.
Tangier and Marrakech also have refugee populations, accounting for 4.8% and 4.1% of the country’s total, respectively.
Where are Morocco’s refugees from?
The majority of Morocco’s refugees, 48%, hail from Syria. Yemen follows with 16%.
Refugees from the Central African Republic make up 12%. South Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire come next, with 7% and 4%, respectively.
Other African countries represent 7%, while other Arab countries account for 6%.
When did Morocco’s refugees arrive?
Nearly all refugees (98.5%) in Morocco arrived in the country after the year 2000.
Approximately half, or 50.3%, arrived after 2015.
More than a third (34.3%) arrived between 2010 and 2014, while 13.9% arrived between 2000 and 2009.
HCP deducts that refugees’ average length of stay in the country is 6.2 years. Refugees from Cote d’Ivoire and Syria tend to have longer stays, counting averages of 9.3 years and 7.6 years, respectively.
Refugees from South Sudan have shorter stays on average — 2.4 years — followed by refugees from Yemen (3.3 years) and the Central African Republic (4.4 years).
HCP collected data from 600 households it deemed “representative of the different categories of refugees, as defined by the UNHCR.”
The investigation sought to collect information on how refugees are coping with the COVID-19 crisis and assess their sources of income, access to health services, and education.