King Mohammed VI of Morocco chaired,a cabinet meeting on Wednesday at the Royal Palace in Rabat,with the main ajenda being the upgrading program for the regions that were hit by the Al Haouz earthquake.
The meeting was also a follow-up of the progress on king’s directives given at the meetings of September 09 and 14, which laid the groundwork for an integrated program designed to provide a strong, coherent, swift and proactive response.
With an estimated overall budget of 120 billion dirhams over a five-year period, the first version of the integrated and multi-sectoral program presented before the Sovereign covers the six provinces and prefectures affected by the earthquake (Marrakech, Al Haouz, Taroudant, Chichaoua, Azilal and Ouarzazate), targeting a population of 4.2 million.
Based on a convergence approach and a precise diagnosis of needs, as well as an analysis of territorial potential and local players, the program includes projects aimed at, on the one hand, rebuilding housing and upgrading affected infrastructures, in line with the emergency measures decided at the September 14 meeting, and strengthening socio-economic development in targeted areas, on the other.
The four main components of the government approaches during and after theearthquake calamity includes:
1- Relocating people affected by the disaster, rebuilding housing and rehabilitating infrastructure;
2- Opening up and upgrading regions;
3- Accelerating the absorption of social deficits, particularly in the mountainous areas affected by the earthquake;
4- Encouraging economic activity and employment, and promoting local initiatives.
The program also includes,the King’s directive on the establishment, in each region, of a large platform of essential reserves (tents, blankets, beds, medicines, foodstuffs, etc.) to deal immediately with natural disasters.
Therefore, the Sovereign stressed once again the importance of listening to the needs of the local population in order to provide it with appropriate solutions, while giving due importance to the environmental dimension and respecting the unique heritage, traditions and lifestyles of each region.
Funding for the major program will come from appropriations in the general State budget, contributions from local authorities and the Special Solidarity Bank Account dedicated to managing the effects of the earthquake, as well as through donations and international cooperation.
In this respect, and as part of the Hassan II Fund’s mission to support the implementation of programs and projects with a structuring impact on economic and social development, the King has given His High Instructions for the Hassan II Fund to contribute 2 billion dirhams to the financing of this program.