Rabat – Representatives of various UN agencies based in Morocco have lauded Morocco’s swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic as “exemplary.”
Speaking at a virtual meeting on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the representatives noted Morocco’s effective management of the health crisis and its socio-economic effects that make the country an exemplary model for the world.
The agency representatives took the opportunity to highlight the measures Moroccan public authorities have taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate the social and economic impact of restrictive measures.
Speaking at the virtual meeting were representatives of United Nations (UN) agencies based in Morocco, including the World Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund, International Organization for Migration, and UNICEF. The event also saw the presence of Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Morocco Sylvia Lopez-Ekra.
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Lopez-Ekra welcomed the comprehensive approach Morocco adopted in managing the pandemic, especially in terms of vaccination. She also lauded the North African country’s responsiveness in declaring a state of health emergency as the first cases appeared, mobilizing various industries to produce productive equipment, in developing screening, and in anticipating the acquisition of vaccines.
Morocco’s health response to the pandemic has gone hand-in-hand with a socio-economic response, particularly through the creation of the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19, and the launch of the Mohammed VI Investment Fund, said the UN official.
This comprehensive approach, she added, has enabled Morocco to be among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of immunization, ranking first on the African continent.
Lopez-Ekra also announced the launch of dialogue with the Moroccan government to provide adequate support to the various sectors affected by the health crisis.
Morocco is “an example in the world” in terms of response to the pandemic, thanks to the measures it implements in accordance with the instructions of King Mohammed VI, said Maryam Bigdeli, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Morocco.
Morocco’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has proven effective, vigorous, and powerful since day one, she added.
The country has used the health crisis as an opportunity to strengthen its health system, multiplying intensive care beds and training hospital staff.
“We also welcome the fact that Morocco’s sense of sharing has helped other African countries to obtain equipment and materials,” she added. She highlighted the national vaccination campaign and described it as “exemplary.”
During the meeting, the UN officials shared their perspectives on actions since the beginning of the pandemic to support the Moroccan government and civil society activists, outlining their proposals for action in the context of the post-COVID-19 recovery.
Bourita surveyed Morocco’s approach in the fight against the pandemic, insisting that the Kingdom has mobilized all instruments of solidarity to maintain social cohesion in difficult times. Morocco has accelerated the implementation of large-scale social projects, such as the expansion of social protection, which is particularly relevant in times of pandemics, he added.
The meeting, which is part of the regular consultations of the UN team in Rabat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its capacity as National Coordinator of Operational Activities of the UN Development System, made it possible to assess the action of UN agencies in supporting the management of the pandemic and the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
The two parties agreed to continue their joint action to strengthen cooperation relations through the mobilization of promising partnerships, the promotion of concrete development projects and innovative solutions, as well as the sharing of experiences and best practices in the framework of South-South and triangular cooperation.