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Morocco: Parliamentarians Call for Reducing Social Disparities | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine el-Othmani delivers his first speech presenting the government’s program at the Moroccan Parliament in Rabat, Morocco April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Rabat – A group of Moroccan deputies from both majority and opposition blocs have called on the government on Tuesday to speed up the implementation of measures aimed at reducing social disparities in the different Moroccan regions, by guaranteeing equal access to developmental programs.

Several areas in Morocco are suffering from poor basic services, such as education and health, as well as deterioration of the infrastructure and high unemployment rate.

During Wednesday’s oral questions and answer session at the House of Representatives, Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Al-Othmani stressed the presence of “lucky areas and other unlucky regions”, due to the differences in the pace of development.

He noted that development indicators still divide Moroccan regions into areas with concrete fairly acceptable development pace and other ones with no manifest development.

“In some areas, development is intangible and unacceptable due to decades of mismanagement,” he stated.

Asked whether the new reform initiative was linked to protests in some areas, the Moroccan prime minister said it was his government’s duty to reach out to citizens in underprivileged areas, whether they are protesting or not.

“We have to give poor and remote regions their rights in terms of development through building up roads, health services and schools,” he stated.

In this context, Othmani said that his cabinet was seeking to reduce regional inequalities by allocating MAD 5 billion to rehabilitate poor and remote areas.

Earlier this month, the Moroccan premier said his cabinet was deploying all efforts to curb unemployment.

“The government was appointed only 42 days ago. It is still early to speak of achievements,” he stated.

“I will keep fighting unemployment, and I will perform the task assigned to me since my appointment by the King and the vote of Parliament on the government program,” he added.