Moroccan government on Monday announced that almost a million disadvantaged families would receive direct monthly assistance for the first time as of Thursday, a system unheard of in the kingdom for many years.
In all, nearly a million families are expected to benefit. These targeted family allowances are part of a vast social reform initiated by King Mohammed VI in 2020.
According to Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, beneficiaries will receive at least 500 dirhams (just over $51) a month regardless of family composition.
The implementation of this program will require a budget of 25 billion dirhams (around 2.5 billion euros) for 2024, according to government spokesman Mustapha Baitas at the end of October.
This project also includes the generalization of social security coverage for all Moroccans, scheduled to begin in 2021.
Medical coverage has also been extended free of charge to over 10 million disadvantaged people, with the State covering the cost of their contributions.
These social reforms are being deployed against a backdrop of economic slowdown and profound social disparities affecting this country of 36 million inhabitants.
According to the latest estimates from Morocco’s central bank, the kingdom is set to record a growth rate of 2.7% and inflation of 6.1% in 2023.
Until now, social assistance has been indirect and untargeted, with Morocco subsidizing certain consumer goods via a compensation fund.
This fund is due to be reformed, but the date has not yet been set, to make way for targeted aid for the underprivileged.