The Website is Under Construction

This is beta version of ARDD's website

الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

Conditions in Morocco in the age of Coronavirus Briefs about the state of Social Protection in the Arab world


On 2 March 2020, Morocco registered its first case of the Coronavirus. The registered number of infected persons, as of April 6, increased to 1184 cases, while the number of deaths rose to 90. Morocco declared a health emergency from 20 March until 20 April to reduce the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which has been classified by the WHO as a pandemic. [1] Like other Arab countries, the lockdown imposed by the Kingdom of Morocco to limit the spread of the emerging Coronavirus pandemic has affected many vulnerable groups, depriving many of their sources of livelihood.

The informal sector has been most dramatically affected. This sector constitutes approximately 11.5% of the GDP, and employs about 2.4 million people, who make up 36% of the workers in the Kingdom. This is true with the exception of the agricultural sector, according to statements by the High Commissioner for Planning Ahmed Lahlimi as shared within statistics issued by Morocco in this regard in late 2016. [2]

On the other hand, Moroccan observers expect that the workers in the tourism sector, which is the second largest source of foreign currency, will be significantly affected. This is especially true since the majority of tourists who visit the country come from Europe, which has recorded high rates of infection.

In an effort to address this issue, on the morning of March 23, the Moroccan government decided to form an “Economic Vigilance” committee to support the informal sector directly affected by the quarantine.

At that time, the Committee issued financial aid to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. Aid was set as follows: 800 dirhams (about $80) for families of two or less; one thousand dirhams (about $100) for families of three to four; and about 1,200 dirhams (about $120) for families with more than four members. This is according to the official website of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Moroccan Administration Reform. [3]

With regards to migrant labor, the independent media, according to the head of the Solidarity with Asian Immigrants in Morocco, Hayat Berho, has recorded cases of racism against the Asian migrants residing in Morocco, particularly in Casablanca and Rabat. Some Moroccans have insulted Asian immigrants with the phrase “it’s Corona.” [4]

The Economic Vigilance Committee has  criticized the Moroccan government for what African migrants have faced there, and demanded that they be provided with the same aid that was provided to citizens. According to the Committee, African migrants, who were deprived from income during the lockdown, are running out of funds to purchase food and necessities to survive.

With regard to youth volunteering and solidarity campaigns, young Moroccans have launched massive solidarity campaigns, through online efforts and hashtags on social media, to counter the spread of the virus, such as the “campaign in your home (stay at home).” [5]

While the Moroccan government is busy dealing with the developments of the “Coronavirus,” Moroccan civil organizations working with childhood, motherhood and the elderly have demanded that the government protects these groups against violence and bullying. These organizations, through their official platforms via social media, have launched various campaigns urging the prevention of violence against these groups. This is important especially in light of these difficult times, in which children become more at risk of violence, as circumstances have destroyed their daily routines and deprived them of their social lives and access to outside play.

In a press statement, the National Council for Human Rights and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights urged the Moroccan government to provide suitable assistance to vulnerable groups, but as of now the latter has not responded.

[1] المغرب: ارتفاع عدد الإصابات بفيروس كورونا

[2] لحليمي: القطاع غير المهيكل يشغل 2.4 ملايين شخص في المغرب

[3] عملية الدعم المؤقت للأسر العاملة في القطاع غير المهيكل المتضررة من فيروس كورونا : 29/03/2020

[4] كورونا يعزز روح التضامن في المغرب… ويبعث فيروس العنصرية

[5] كورونا يفجر الجدل بالمغرب. ملازمة البيوت أم تأمين القوت؟ (تقرير)