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EU announces further support for economic development and elimination of social inequality in Morocco

European Commission - IP/13/795   29/08/2013

Other available languages: FR DE

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 29 August 2013

EU announces further support for economic development and elimination of social inequality in Morocco

The European Commission has announced the first part of its 2013 action programme for Morocco. Amounting to €110 million, this programme is a reflection of the European Union’s commitment to economic and social development in Morocco.

‘Our support for these two major areas of socio-economic reform enables us to contribute to more inclusive growth in line with the EU's commitments to its Moroccan partner and the new approach to Neighbourhood Policy. These measures are also intended to respond to the Moroccan people’s expectations as regards a redistribution of the fruits of growth’, said Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Assistance provided under the programme will be geared to introducing universal health cover and an agricultural development policy for smallholdings and family farms.

The support programme for Basic Health Cover will underpin the Government’s efforts to put into effect the principle of universal access to health care enshrined in the 2011 constitutional reform. Under the programme, support will be given to Morocco to make the RAMED healthcare scheme for those on low incomes more widely available, to include in the compulsory health insurance scheme eligible persons covered by other types of insurance and, lastly, to provide basic health cover for those segments of the population that do not yet benefit from it.

Assistance will be given to the Government to set up an effective technical and financial framework for health cover and to introduce measures to improve the supply of health care in order to enable the sector to cope with growing demand.

The sectoral support programme for agricultural policy will continue to underpin the measures taken by the Moroccan authorities to provide incentives to small farmers to increase productivity and create jobs in certain key agricultural sectors. It will also build on processing and marketing capacity and ensure added value, hence raising the income of small farmers.

Lastly the programme will enable small farmers to effectively participate in setting targets and deciding on activities to be carried on as part of the Moroccan Green Plan to develop agriculture.

Background

The support programme for Basic Health Cover, amounting to €50 million, will be the third phase of EU support (started in 2002) for an ambitious plan to establish universal health cover in Morocco. Because of the EU’s past support, it has been possible already to launch the pilot phase of basic health protection for the most underprivileged sections of society and to lay the foundations for universal health cover.

The sectoral support programme for agricultural policy (phase 2), amounting to €60 million, follows on from previous EU support which significantly improved production in certain key sectors, increased agricultural diversification and raised the incomes of small farmers by increasing the number of working days.

These two measures clearly demonstrate the EU’s determination to provide long-term support to Morocco to ensure the success and sustainability of the reforms it has embarked on.

For more details:

Website of EuropeAid – Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of Moroccan delegation:

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/morocco/index_fr.htm

Contacts :

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)


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