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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 23 November 2012

EU commits itself to strengthening its support for human development in Morocco

The European Commission today adopted a special measure for Morocco, for a total of EUR 25 million, providing support for implementing the second phase of the National Human Development Initiative (2011-2015). The new programme will focus on reducing poverty in rural areas, targeting 885 rural municipalities.

Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: ’The National Human Development Initiative (NHDI) has definitely created momentum in development and in strengthening local governance in the most deprived areas of the country. However, this momentum has to be enhanced, consolidated and amplified in order to reduce poverty significantly, in particular by making numerous investments, providing high-quality social services, increasing the income of the rural population and strengthening the participation of young people and women in the development process. More inclusive economic development lies at the heart of the neighbourhood policy’s new approach.’

The programme will, in particular, focus on supporting the development of income‑generating activities to help stimulate the economic base of the least developed areas in Morocco. It will also make it possible to support the government’s efforts to provide the poorest and most isolated regions with basic infrastructure and social services in order to enhance the local population’s access to public services and improve their quality of life.

In keeping with the overall thinking behind the NHDI, the European Union programme is also aimed at supporting a participatory, decentralised approach, inter alia by bolstering the capacity of local stakeholders (associations, cooperatives, local representatives) and by encouraging greater coherence in public policies at local level.

This programme follows on from a previous EU programme (EUR 64 million) implemented in conjunction with Belgium and Germany.

For more information

Website of the DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid:

(more to follow)

Website of EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle:


European Neighbourhood Policy:


Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

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