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Morocco Week in Review 
April 1 2017

Reading Initative Launched by an American Tourist

Article in Arabic http://www.hespress.com/societe/343990.html
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Casablanca’s George Washington Academy to Host 1st International Green Festival

By Morocco World News - March 31, 2017 By Safaa Kasraoui Rabat

The NGO Green Council (GC) will organize the 1st International Green Festival on April 22 at the George Washington Academy (GWA) in Casablanca. Through the festival, GC aims to highlight measures to preserve and protect the earth as well as to encourage its staff, students and their parents to contribute to the process of environmental conservation.“The newly founded Green Council seeks to educate the student body, the staff, and parents on the matter of environmental awareness in hope to implement innovative mindsets and trigger a change in behavior within our community,” said GC in a press release.

GC will also devote an environmental zone for thematic discussions on various  issues related to environment and the measures people can take to help their community become greener.
“GC’s main goal is to show the importance of nature, and how it is in danger, then be able to propose a couple solutions to these horrors as well as celebrate cultural diversity,” the same source added. The event will also host several activities, including cultural exchange programs which will provide international and national participants with the opportunity to represent their cultural backgrounds, music, and foods.

Since its inception in 2016, GC has been working on starting an Electronic Waste Recycling on its campus, as well as on the replacement of bottled water with reusable water bottles.
“GC started with testing their water’s purity and after discovering its outstanding purity the school has installed many water fountains. Their next step is to acquire the reusable bottles in order to successfully be able to replace the bottled water,” said GC. The festival will be organized in coordination with the GWA parents association.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/03/212572/casablancas-george-washington-academy-host-1st-international-green-festival/
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US News & World Report Names Morocco among 50 Best Countries

Updated March 10, 2017
Kingdom Shines in Business and Cultural Sub-Categories
Washington, DC, March 10, 2017 (MACP)

For the second year in a row Morocco was ranked among the top 50 best countries by US News & World Report’s Best Countries listing, released earlier this week. Produced in partnership with Y&R’s BAV Consulting group and the Wharton School of Pennsylvania, the listing evaluates 80 countries based on a survey of more than 21,000 respondents worldwide in nine sub-categories: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power, and Quality of Life. Ranking at 48th overall, Morocco showed especially strong performances in the Movers sub-category, which identifies “up-and-coming economies,” coming in at 14th; the Heritage sub-category, which identifies those countries “most readily associated with a unique identity,” ranking 16th; and the Adventure sub-category, signaling destinations most likely “to fulfill your wanderlust,” ranking 24th.

Of the remaining nine sub-categories, Morocco also placed in the top 50 in the categories of Open for Business (“market-oriented” countries that are “a haven for capitalists and corporations”), ranking 40th; and Cultural Influence (countries that serve as “cutting-edge centers of art, entertainment and fashion”), ranking 41st. The report, now in its second year, used other combinations of survey responses to identify additional “Best Of” lists wherein Morocco also figured prominently but that were not accounted for in the overall rankings. Morocco ranked 39th among Best Countries to Travel Alone; 41st in Best Countries for a Comfortable Retirement; 43rd in Most Forward-Looking Countries; and 48th in Most Transparent.

In many categories, Morocco emerged as a leader in Africa and the Middle East. Morocco was number one in the Open for Business and Best Countries for a Comfortable Retirement categories among African and Middle Eastern countries; number one in North Africa for Forward-Looking Countries; and second in Africa in the Movers category. “Morocco’s overall success and its exemplary performance in business and cultural sub-categories are a testament to the country’s strengths and vision for itself as a diverse, modern, and innovative world leader,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel.

The US News & World Report findings echo the results of many other industry indices over the years. Earlier this year, Morocco was again named among the 50 most innovative economies in the world and one of just two such economies in Africa by the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index. In September last year, the World Bank’s 2017 “Doing Business” report ranked Morocco 68 out of 190 countries in ease of doing business, making it number one in North Africa and fourth overall in the greater Middle East/North Africa region. Meanwhile, Marrakesh, Morocco was named the most popular travel destination in the world by TripAdvisor last year; and the World Tourism Organization’s 2016 Tourism Highlights report cited Morocco as the top tourist destination in Africa.
http://moroccoonthemove.com/2017/03/10/us-news-world-report-names-morocco-among-50-best-countries-2/#sthash.sXoCfts4.zoMutnov.dpbs
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Hearty fish and veggie stew gets zing from Moroccan flavors.

By Robin MatherChicago Tribune 03/21/2017

March is easily the hardest month, to my mind: Winter storms may yet bring harsh weather, just as our spirits begin to yearn for longer, warmer days. We look eagerly now for the early noses of daffodils and crocus to poke through the soil. Spring must surely come soon, we think. My solutionis to dapple my March menus with meals bright with herbs and still-seasonal citrus, dishes sturdy enough to nourish a winter-worn body but colorful enough to fill my eye with the hues of the season I hunger for.

This hearty fish and vegetable stew fills the need quite handily. Its complex, layered flavors draw on Morocco's fascinating court cuisine, but only a couple of ingredients may not be in your pantry already. In Morocco, a tagine of fish would be served over a bed of couscous, and you certainly can serve this stew that way. In my kitchen, though, it tends to come out more as a stew, eaten from a big bowl, and yes, please, I'll help myself to seconds.

Chermoula is what the Moroccans call the fragrant sauce that often accompanies fish. In a thicker variant, it might be used to stuff a whole roasted fish; loosened with a generous pour of olive oil, as here, it becomes a condiment much like Argentine chimichurri or Yemeni zhug. Use it with any firm white fish that's reasonably priced; I don't care for basa (swai) or tilapia, two farm-raised fish that come from Indochina, most frequently, but if you like them, they'd work here as well.

A classic Moroccan chermoula doesn't include mint, but I've added it here for its bright, springy flavor. You may not need all the sauce for the recipe; if you have some left over, it's also a terrific marinade for chicken, and is a good accompaniment to beef or pork. While the vegetable stew will be delicious without the preserved lemon, it's definitely worth the effort to find or make preserved lemons for their silky, salty contribution. (Use store-bought, or try the method below.)

Fish Stew with Moroccan Flavors
Sauce:
1/2 bunch parley
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon each: ground coriander, minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, optional
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil

Stew:
4 portions (4 to 6 ounces each) mild, firm white fish fillets or steaks, such as flounder, sole, halibut, catfish or sea bass
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced vertically
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon each: salt, ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 russet potato, peeled, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
Peel of 1 preserved lemon, cut into slivers, optional
1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano or Picholine, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender; whiz until well blended into a thick paste. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
Use about half the paste to marinate the fish pieces. If your fish fillets are thin, as with flounder and sole, spread the uppermost side with the sauce, then fold into thirds. Refrigerate fish to marinate for 1 to 2 hours. Set remaining sauce aside.
Begin the vegetable stew: Heat olive oil over medium in a large, heavy skillet with a close-fitting lid. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until onions and peppers soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine salt, cumin and cayenne pepper; toss sliced potatoes in spice mixture until they are well-coated.
Add carrots, potatoes and diced tomatoes with their juices to the skillet. Stir to blend. Stir in preserved lemon, green olives, honey and cinnamon; bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer. If the liquid seems to evaporate, add water to bring the mixture back to a stewy consistency.
When the vegetables are almost tender, 20-25 minutes, stir in chopped parsley. Nestle the fish portions into the vegetable stew, brushing with a little of their marinade if you wish. Re-cover the skillet, and cook until the fish is opaque but still moist, about 15 minutes.
To serve, divide the vegetable stew among 4 bowls. Top each portion of stew with fish. Pass additional sauce at table, if desired. Serves 4.
Nutrition information per serving: 404 calories, 27 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 44 mg cholesterol, 29 g carbohydrates, 12 g sugar, 16 g protein, 1,521 mg sodium, 6 g fiber

Easy Preserved Lemons
Prep: 10 minutes
Marinate: 9 days
Scrub 2 whole lemons clean. Cut each lemon into wedges, leaving them attached at the stem end. Coat with a generous amount of coarse (kosher) salt. Pack tightly into a small glass jar; sprinkle with more salt. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice to come about halfway up the lemons. Put the lid on the jar.
Let stand at room temperature a couple of days, shaking the jar every day. Refrigerate about 1 week. Lemons will keep 3 months or more in the refrigerator, and the skins will get softer. Rinse off salt before using.
This method from Tribune archives is written by "Dinner at Home" columnist JeanMarie Brownson, Meyer lemons are good here — they are sweet and tender. Look for them at large specialty markets.
http://world.einnews.com/article/372259682/-NYZJr88xKQR9-6b?lcf=r2FzlokJAoUkY9n4RNXfcxA6pESZ-Xweb_pquSIsvg8%3D
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Five Moroccan Hospitals Integrate Artificial Intelligence into Healthcare Services

By Amira El Masaiti - March 29, 2017 Rabat

Five Moroccan hospital have started integrating Sophia Genetics’ artificial intelligence programs into their clinics to aid the identification of diseases causing mutations in patients’ genomic profiles.
The five Moroccan hospitals were revealed by Sophia Genetics, a global leader in data-driven medicine, during the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) in Phoenix, on March 24.

The Moroccan medical institutions that have incorporated Sophia Genetics into their medical plan are: Casablanca’s PHarmaProcess and Rabat’s ImmCell, Al Azhar Oncology Center, Riad Biology Center, and Oudayas’ Medical Analysis Laboratory. The company has also established a center in Cape Town in South Africa and another in Douala in Cameroon. The hospitals that have adopted Sophia Genetics’s AI have become part of a larger network of 260 hospitals in 46 countries that share biomedical findings across the world to advance in patients’ diagnostics and care.

Sophia will also aid African hospitals in cancer research.  Breast cancer has been described as a “serial killer” in Africa, with over 60% of African women afflicted. And according to an earlier research on breast cancer by the International Prevention Research Institute, an earlier diagnosis of breast tumors could increase life expectancy by 30%. “Since inception, our vision has been to develop innovative technological solutions that analyze patients’ genomic profiles to offer better diagnosis and care to the greatest number of patients, wherever they live. Today, I am very proud that SOPHIA is triggering a technological leapfrog movement in healthcare across Africa, ” said Sophia Genetics’ CEO and co-founder, Jurgi Camblong.

Hicham Mansour, Geneticist at the University of Mohamed I Genetic Department in the Al Azhar Oncology Center, added that “using Sophia allows us to analyze genomic data quickly and with great confidence, to better diagnose and follow up with our patients.” Jurgi Camblong concluded that after many countries in Europe, Canada, Australia, Russia, and Latin America, the integration of Sophia in Africa is “perhaps the strongest evidence that the democratization of Data-Driven Medicine is changing lives across the globe.”
https://world.einnews.com/article/373427465/Pi-CWvVEgo8tZU8B?lcf=r2FzlokJAoUkY9n4RNXfcxA6pESZ-Xweb_pquSIsvg8%3D
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Morocco serving up motorcycle adventure for chef

By Shannon Gillies Saturday, 1 April 2017

A North Otago man will take his life into his own hands in the name of adventure and charity in Morocco. Riverstone Kitchen owner and chef Bevan Smith has signed up for the international charity motorbike event, the Monkey Run. He leaves next Saturday to take part in the seven-day event which will take a group of about 70 bikers from the Sahara Desert to the Atlantic Ocean on 50cc bikes he described as a "Chinese knock-off" and a "kid’s motorbike".

While he was looking to use the trip as a fundraiser for  Cool Earth, an environmental charity that worked in partnership with indigenous communities, the whole event was an adventure in a country he had wanted to visit since his OE years ago. "The food’s amazing. It looks like fun and it’s a chance to catch up with guys I haven’t seen for years." He said a friend invited him to take part in the adventure last year. He was packing light for the adventure, but promised to wear merino socks and underwear, given their  capacity for dealing with smells.

Security on the trip for the first-time motorcyclist was not a concern even though his team of three were expecting to traverse part of the Atlas Mountains and use back roads to get to the yet-to-be-disclosed finishing line."We’ll have to survive the trip with one set of clothes ... maybe a change of socks for a special occasion. We’ll look for accommodation as we go, but there’s a fair chance we’ll be sleeping out under the stars." He was looking forward surfing on the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the event.
shannon.gillies@odt.co.nz
https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/morocco-serving-motorcycle-adventure-chef
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A Night Out in Morocco: Make plans to attend upcoming Spice Box Dinner

By: Nancy Foreman Mar 27, 2017 Urbana, Ill

Today's recipe will transport you to the beautiful country of Morocco. We get a taste of the cuisine in the c-i kitchen with  U of I student chef Ahlyshiah Mahan.  She shares her appetizer recipe Harcha. A deep fried semolina flour stuffed with a savory cheese, onion, and olives mix on top of a Monterrey jack and Cheddar cheese roux dish.

Spice Box Dinner Moroccan Appetizer

Moroccan Stuffed Harcha
2 cups fine semolina
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp dry fresh
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk or water

1/4 cup coarse or fine semolina (for shaping)

For the filling:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
small handful Edam (or other variety) cheese, grated or crumbled
small handful chopped olives, black or green
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dry za'atar or oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne or black pepper

Serves 3-4

Dough directions:
In a mixing bowl, blend together the fine semolina, za'atar, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the olive oil and mix with your hands to achieve a sandy-textured mixture.

Add 3/4 cup milk or water and mix until a dough forms.  It should be quite soft-think of the texture of wet sand- and easily packed into a large mound.  Add additional milk if necessary to achieve this consistency.   Divide dough into four or six portions.  Leave the dough to rest while you prepare the filing.  

Filling directions:
Saute the onion in a tablespoon of oil for a few minutes, just until crisp tender.  Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients.  Set aside.

Cooking directions:
Preheat a griddle or large frying pan over medium low heat.  While the griddle is heating, sprinkle a tray or work surface with a little semolina and pat out two portions of dough into circles about 1/4" thick.  Generously top once circle with some filling and then place another circle of dough on top.  Pinch and mold the edges together to seal.  Gently flatten the stuffed dough to about 3/8" thick and transfer the harcha to the heated pan or griddle.  Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Cook the stuffed harcha over fairly low heat, about seven to ten minutes on each side, until a medium golden color.  Turn only once and don't allow the harcha to color too quickly as it needs some to cook all the way through.  

Savory harcha are best served warmed.  They can be cut into wedges for individual servings. 
http://www.illinoishomepage.net/ciliving/cikitchen/a-night-out-in-morocco/681456549
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600,000 Moroccan Adults and Teenagers Addicted to Drugs 

Morocco World News - 17/03/2017 Rabat

Approximately 600,000 Moroccans are addicted to drugs, with 16,000 addicted to hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, reported Moroccan daily newspaper Assabah based on a study conducted by the Biochemistry and Nutrition and Cellular Biology group in affiliation with Casablanca's Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy. 300,000 Moroccans are addicted to cigarettes, according to the study, which revealed that the number of the addicted includes also teenagers under the age of 15. Most of them live in the slums and marginalized areas. Young people aged 18 to 28 are the most addicted to hard drugs, comprising 70 percent of total Moroccans addicted.

The study is a part of the group's research, which is about the consumption of drugs has become a commonplace. Scientist members of the group are striving to come up with a national strategy to fight against the effect of drugs in Morocco. According to the 2015 annual report of the National Observatory of Drugs and Addictions, around four to five fiver of Morocco's adult population uses drugs, a minimum of 800,000 users.

The report, which also found that one out of five high school students has already smoked tobacco and one out of ten has used cannabis, recommends a nationwide prevention program, laws to ban the selling of tobacco and drugs near schools, and counseling and psychological support units in schools and universities. The United Nations released a report in mid-2016, showing that the number of people suffering from drug addiction worldwide stands at 29 million.
http://menafn.com/1095324909/Morocco---600000-Moroccan-Adults-and-Teenagers-Addicted-to-Drugs
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Morocco, WHO Sign 2017-2021 Cooperation Strategy

By Constance Renton -April 1, 2017 Toronto

The Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) inked, on Thursday in Rabat, the cooperation strategy for 2017-2021.  Signed by Secretary General of the Health Ministry Abdelali Belghiti Aloui and WHO representative in Morocco Yves Souteyrand, the strategy was devised by the Ministry in collaboration with key national and international stakeholders in the health sector.
The said strategy takes account of the progress in the implementation of Moroccan health system reforms, and the WHO Global Program, particularly efforts made internationally to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The strategy is also in line with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2017-2021, which governs cooperation between Morocco and the UN. The strategy has four broad lines, namely increasing fair access to affordable and quality services, reducing health inequalities, decreasing mortality rate, and fostering governance in the health sector. The strategy will be given concrete substance via biennial working programs over 2017-2021 with WHO’s technical and financial support.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/04/212680/morocco-sign-2017-2021-cooperation-strategy/
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US-Morocco Sign Partnership Agreement For the Promotion of Craftsmanship

 MENAFN - Morocco World News - 29/03/2017 Rabat

A public-private partnership agreement on the promotion of Moroccan handicrafts products abroad was signed on Saturday in Casablanca by representatives from a number of Moroccan and American organizations. Initialed by the Minister of Handicrafts, Social and Solidarity Economy, Mrs. Fatema Marouane, the General Manager of the Maison de l'Artisan, Abdellah Adnani, the President of the Holmarcom Group, Mohamed Hassan Bensalah and the Dean of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Daniel Cavicchi, the convention aims to improve the attractiveness of craft products, especially in the US market.

This expansion policy, which aims to contribute to the development and improvement of the quality of Moroccan handicrafts, is the primary cause for the 20% growth of crafts sector exports in the US market this month, said Marouane. According to the minister, the choice of RISD to acompany this project will add additional value to Moroccan craftsmanship by adapting its products to contemporary trends, as the institution enjoys an international reputation as a leading school in design. He added that the first action of this agreement will be the launching of a pilot program for crafts education and training.

Dedicated to the ceramics sector and spanning two academic years, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, this program aims to create a pedagogical platform for training courses based on Moroccan craft expertise. The program aims to promote Moroccan artisanal practices in an international community of artists, creators and designers through the RISD campus, and helping master artisans and the Moroccan creators to adapt their products to contemporary trends while preserving their national identity, she explained.
http://menafn.com/1095352694/USMorocco-Sign-Partnership-Agreement-For-the-Promotion-of-Craftsmanship
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Five Moroccan Women to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

MENAFN - Morocco World News - 29/03/2017 Rabat

Five Moroccan women are preparing for a high-altitude climbing adventure starting March 30 at the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro. The adventure aims to encourage Moroccan women to unleash their venturesome spirit and to elevate Morocco's global reputation athletics. The female group led by Nacer Ben Abdeljalil, the first Moroccan to climb Mount Everest, aims to showcase the ability of Moroccan women to take on the challenge and climb one of the world's most difficult mountains. The climbers are expected to reach the summit on April 3.

The group's leader told Maghrb Arabe Presse (MAP) that he has been thinking of this adventure since Morocco's return to the African Union, adding that he had climbed Kilimanjaro several times.
'The idea was well received by my followers on social media networks,' he added. Ben Abdeljalil's squad, chosen for their athletic skills, courage, and determination, is made up of Zineb Alaoui Kacimi, Malika El Alami, Ilham Boujlid, Yasmina Sitail and Asmae Chraibi. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in the African continent with a high point of 5.895 meter (19.341 feet).
http://menafn.com/1095353701/Morocco---5-Moroccan-Women-to-Climb-Mount-Kilimanjaro
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Casablanca to Host Jazzablanca Festival

By Morocco World News - February 24, 2017 , By Safaa kasraoui Rabat

The annual Jazzablanca Festival, which is set to take place from 8 to 16 in Casablanca, will feature many Moroccan and international star performers. Since its inception in 2006, more than 400 artists have performed in the Jazzablanca Festival, making it one of the most important events for Jazz music. The program of the 12th annual edition will be marked by the presence of several jazz, soul, rock and funk artists.

To start off the festival, American singer, Laura Pergolizzi will be performing on April 8th at Casa-Anfa Racecourse. Pergolizzi has long preferred to work as a song co-writer, authoring songs for renowned stars such as Rihanna for ”Cheers”, Christina Aguilera for her ”Beautiful” people song. The second performance will take place at Jazz Club on April 9th by American singer Robyn Bennet, who proposes original compositions with Bag Bang band. Bang Bang band and Bennet will perform jazz, country, blues and country music during their show.

Festival goers will also have the opportunity to meet up with Marinah Y Chicuelo on the same stage. Marinah and, guitar player, Chicuelo will perform their musical adventures through revisiting different styles of music. The band is made off Carlos Sarduy the trumpet, Keyboards and congas, Javis Martin on bass, and David Dominguez on percussion. American Jazz trumpeter Christian Scott, and Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca will also take part in this event.Fatima Zahra Sedkane, also known as Faty S, will perform at Jazz Club with Daniel Escatcott, a Canadian pianist on April 10th
Moroccan artists will be also present in Jazzablanca Festival. Meryem Aboulouafa will perform on April 11th. Aboulouafa draws her inspiration from the artistic collaborations she undertakes. She began collaboration in 2015 with Italian composer and pianist, Francesco Santalucia. Aboulouafa has also performed covers of very well-known stars such as Nina Simone for ”Feeling good”, John Lennon ” Jealous guy”. Raggae, Soul and folk rock artist, Jihan Bougrine will also take part in this event on April 13th. 
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/02/209321/casablanca-host-jazzablanca-festival/
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Four water wells dug in Morocco

 29 Mar 2017 - The Peninsula

Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF) has dug four surface-water wells in the rural areas of Morocco. More than 1,000 poor families benefited from the project. A delegation led by Dr Ayed bin Dabssan Al Qahtani, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and General Director of RAF, inaugurated the project. The project was financed by the Endowment Fund of Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah for charity works.

Cemented water tanks were built near the wells for the storage of water and to supply it to neighboring houses. More than 250 homes received water connection from a single well. The well will also provide water to small farms. The villagers walked for long to bring water, said Dr Ibrhaim Talwi, Chairman of Al Salam Social Development Association, RAF’s partner in Morocco. The project provided drinking water to the residents and saved the time of children who often reached their schools late as they went to fetch water, said Talwi.
https://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/29/03/2017/Four-water-wells-dug-in-Morocco
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Breast Feeding in a “Critical” Condition in Morocco

By Amira El Masaiti - March 30, 2017 , Rabat

Since becoming a “ formula-feeding” society, breastfeeding in Morocco is in a “critical” condition, as only 27.8% of children are exclusively breastfed during the first six months of their lives, revealed the lasted figures of the Ministry of health. The ministry also underlined that only 26.8% of mothers breastfeed their infants after delivery, the rest use substitutions such as bottle feeding. Despite consistent efforts to promote infant and young child breast feeding, the state of the issue remains a cause for concern worldwide, as less than 40% of infants under six months are breast-fed.

“This lack of interest lies mainly in women’s lifestyles, which have evolved considerably in recent years. In urban areas, many women have careers and sometimes prefer to use the bottle directly. Others mistakenly think that breast milk alone is not enough for the baby’s diet, preferring milk powder, rich in vitamins and calcium. Yet, there is a link between prolonged breastfeeding and higher IQ testing results and academic success for the child, “said the ministry.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers  breast milk to be the benchmark for infant feeding during the first months of life and recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and the  continuation of its use by associating it with appropriate supplements at least until the age of two. WHO explained that “while breastfeeding is a natural act, it is also a learned behavior,” adding that many researches proved that mothers and other caregivers require “active support for establishing and sustaining appropriate breastfeeding practices.”

As  the  world celebrated the 11th  Day of Breastfeeding on Wednesday March 29, an opportunity to remind women of the benefits of breastfeeding, the ministry is currently preparing a national breastfeeding awareness campaign that will take place from April 1 to 10.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/03/212514/breast-feeding-critical-condition-morocco/
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Morocco Suffers from a Shortage of Blood Donation

By Amira El Masaiti - March 30, 2017 Rabat

On the occasion of the national Blood Donor day, Dr. Najia Amraoui, official at the National Center for Inoculation and Blood Besearch called on the public to donate blood amid a nationwide shortage of blood donation. The center’s findings indicated that despite the increase of  the number of blood donors (297,700) in 2015, the country is still in shortage of blood donation, as 2016 recorded a number of 310,680 donors, which represents 0.95% of the total population.

This ratio remains below the recommendations  of the World Health Organization, which requires at least 1% of the population to donate blood, underlined El Amraoui. The country is in a critical position, where the challenge is to raise the number of regular blood donors to ensure a safe ratio of blood, according to the same source. Blood donation has to be regular, since platelets last only for five days and red cells last for 42 days, stressed the official. She also explained  that men can donate blood once each two months, while women can do so once every three months with no significant health effects. She pointed out that if Moroccans rolled their sleeves and  volunteered twice during the past year, the total number of donors would have  moved to more than 600,000, and secureD the World Health Organizations’ recommendations.

To reinforce blood donation in the Kingdom, the National Center for Inoculation and Blood Research, together with the Moroccan Red Crescent, medical NGOs and artistic and sports figures promise  to organize  awareness seminars on blood donation. On the occasion of  the Moroccan Blood Donors Day in Morocco, which takes place on March 30, the country holds campaigns every year to donate blood and awareness-raising activities on  the importance of donating this vital substance.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/03/212509/morocco-suffers-shortage-blood-donation/
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