King Mohammed VI of Morocco spoke at length in a televised speech Sunday night on social issues in the country, urging the government to take “emergency measures”, particularly in health and education.
Marking the 19th anniversary of his accession to the throne, the King decried failing social services for his people.
‘‘Therefore, I invite the Government and all relevant actors to undertake a comprehensive and deep restructuring of national social protection and support programs and policies and to submit proposals for their evaluation modalities’‘, King Mohammed VI said.
Therefore, I invite the Government and all relevant actors to undertake a comprehensive and deep restructuring of national social protection and support programs and policies and to submit proposals for their evaluation modalities.
The Moroccan King pointed to social support and social protection programs that “overlap with each other and fail to target eligible categories effectively’‘.
King Mohammed VI called for acceleration of the establishment of “a national system of registration of families to benefit from social support programs”. He urged the government to ‘‘undertake a comprehensive and deep restructuring” of existing programs.
The King of Morocco also called for “vigorous impetus to programs to support schooling” and a reshaping of the health system, which he says is ‘‘characterized by glaring inequalities and weak management.”
Throughout the week, the Moroccan media had said they expected a royal pardon for detainees of the movement called “Hirak” meaning mobility, including its main activists sentenced to up to 20 years in prison in late June.
An official statement released in the wake of the announcement said more than 1,200 detainees were pardoned on Sunday, without specifying if detainees of the movement were part of it. Moroccan media said none of the “Hirak” detainees were pardoned.
Morocco is marked by glaring social and territorial inequalities, against a backdrop of high unemployment among the youth. In 2017, the north African nation was ranked 123 out of 188 countries under the Human Development Index.
The speech was delivered in the city of Al-Hoceima in northern Morocco, the epicenter of a protest movement to social and economic demands that agitated the country in 2016 and 2017.