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Morocco allocates $1 billion to mitigating drought

Morocco allocates $1 billion to mitigating drought
The dried dam of Pereiras, 275 kms south of Lisbon is seen 24 June 2005. Empty water tanks in many villages in Portugal are being filled by fire brigades, who brings the water   -  
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Morocco said Wednesday it will launch a nearly10 billion dirhams ($1 billion) aid programme to help its agriculture industry, which has been hit hard by a particularly acute drought in recent years.

The emergency plan "aims to mitigate the effects of delay in rainfall, to alleviate the impact on agricultural activity and to provide assistance to the farmers and livestock breeders affected", the royal palace said in a statement.

The plan will cost a total of 10 billion dirhams ($1 billion).

Despite hopes of a reprieve from the drought, the national rainfall average is 75 millimetres, down two-thirds compared to a normal season, the royal cabinet said.

And dam reserves have plummeted, filled at a level of just 33% as of Wednesday, compared to 48% this time last year, official data showed.

The kingdom's economy, already hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, is heavily dependent on agriculture, which contributes 12% of GDP.

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