COVID-19. His Majesty the King's Insightful Vision to Respond To COVID-19 Highlighted at NAM Summit

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COVID-19. La Vision Clairvoyante de Sa Majesté le Roi Mohammed VI pour la riposte au COVID-19 mise en exergue lors du Sommet du Mouvement des Non Alignés
Rabat (MOFA)- Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Abroad, Mr Nasser Bourita highlighted, on Monday, the relevant and insightful vision of HM King Mohammed VI in responding to COVID-19 at the online Summit of the Contact Group of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Speaking in a videoconference during this meeting devoted to examining the means to counter the pandemic, Mr Bourita recalled the visionary call that HM the King had launched during the 14th Summit of the Movement, in 2006.  

"We need to set up mechanisms for reflection, proposals, and concertation to address the challenges due to wars, internal conflicts, poverty, pandemics, and terrorist threats," said Mr Bourita, noting that HM the King's call to the second largest grouping of states after the United Nations was very sound given the current context.  

With the Covid-19 pandemic, the international community is subjected to a test of resistance, he said, adding that global challenges have always led to large-scale responses. For the Minister, Covid-19 is another defining moment in history: a human crisis that calls on humanity to be resilient and give the best of itself, while remaining committed to multilateralism.  

Mr Bourita also delivered a three-point analysis of the consequences of the pandemic:  
First, the health crisis will continue for some time. Encouraged by rapid advances in scientific research, Morocco is convinced that ensuring universal access to the future vaccine, at affordable prices, is crucial to global health. This is a cause that the Non-Aligned Movement must defend.  

Second, mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic is as important as flattening its curve. The Covid-19 forced the world to isolate itself, shutting down entire economic sectors and plunging millions of people into unemployment. This means that we must double our efforts to preserve the progress made so far in the fight against precariousness and poverty.  

Third, the Moroccan minister said that these challenges are nowhere as powerful as they are in Africa, where 85.5% of workers are employed in the informal sector. The African Union called on bilateral and multilateral donors to speed up their financial and technical support and reduce the debt of Africans.
Morocco considers that this call must be heeded within the Non-Aligned Movement.  

On the experience of the Kingdom, Mr Bourita clarified that the Moroccan response was based on 5 principles set by His Majesty the King: solidarity; anticipation; prevention; a holistic approach and prioritizing citizens - especially the most vulnerable.  

He said that at the national level, Morocco has endeavored, under the leadership of HM the King, to improve its health system and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis, by presenting to the Summit Morocco's strategy to fight the Covid, which was among the first countries to close its airspace.  

Mr Bourita clarified that Morocco has declared a state of health emergency when the first cases were detected. In the same vein, he recalled that Morocco has channeled the available internal resources towards the Covid-19 Special Fund, created on the initiative of HM the King and worth so far more than 3.5 billion US dollars.

Thanks to the fund, 5.1 million households - many of which operate in the informal sector - were able to benefit from direct financial subsidies, he noted.  

Mr Bourita recalled that Morocco has also mobilized the national industry to produce personal protective equipment, namely millions of masks produced locally. 

With regard to the response at the level of the African continent, Mr Bourita indicated that in accordance with the spirit of solidarity and Afro-optimism, HM King Mohammed VI launched an initiative aimed at creating an operational framework to work with the African countries in the fight against the pandemic.

It is a pragmatic and action-oriented initiative, dedicated to sharing experiences and best practices to deal with the health, economic and social impact of the pandemic.

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