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Morocco Week in Review 
March 28, 2020

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

US Grants Morocco MAD 6.6 Million to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19

US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer touted a longstanding partnership between the US and Morocco, emphasizing that the countries are working together to contain the virus.
Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. Mar 26, 2020 Rabat

The United States government has granted Morocco MAD 6.6 million ($670,000) to respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infections Diseases at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) provided the funds, said a statement that the US embassy provided to Morocco World News. USAID is directing the funds to the World Health Organization (WHO) under the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP). The plan should serve to stop further proliferation of the pandemic in affected and at-risk states to help reduce impacts, the statement said. US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer commented on the aid, saying, “With longstanding partners like Morocco, we are working together to improve global capacity to contain outbreaks at their source and minimize their impact.” The ambassador said the investments, along with the US-Morocco partnership, are “critical” to prepare for emerging threats, including the novel coronavirus crisis, in an effective and rapid manner......
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Distance Learning Measures Commendable, but Require Improvement

Morocco’s education system is working in high gear to support studies during the novel coronavirus crisis, but effective virtual education will require concerted efforts

By Brahim Ait Amar - Mar 25, 2020 Ouarzazate

The Moroccan government shut down schools and universities to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and teachers nationwide are working hard to help their students learn from home, despite the precautionary measure’s difficulties and obstacles. Distance learning is said to be more engaging and dynamic than ever. It is an efficient alternative to in-class learning, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. Morocco’s Ministry of Education has launched online learning platforms and dedicated some television airtime to university lectures. These measures aim to streamline continued studies for students stuck at home.
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A Film Noir: One Expat’s Experience in Morocco During COVID-19 Crisis

On March 15, the number of cases in Morocco jumped to 28, all new infections coming from international tourists. I started to understand why Moroccans scream “corona” at us on the streets.

By Zuza Nazaruk is a Rotterdam-based journalist who focuses on social inclusion and climate emergency. Mar 20, 2020 Casablanca

What is it like to be an expat in Morocco during the COVID-19 crisis? Weeks before Morocco experienced panic-buying, it was March 2, my last day in Rotterdam, and I was trying to buy disinfectant hand gel. But every hygienic product, whether it was masks, tissues, or the gel, is sold out in every store in the city. So far, only my hypochondriac friends are concerned.

March 3. I arrive in Fez. I see many people wearing masks at Brussels airport; some look very sophisticated.

On the plane, I have to fill in a “corona card” explaining whether I traveled through China anytime recently and whether I had a fever, worked in a hospital, or was in contact with somebody infected in the past 14 days. Passengers give the “corona card” to the officials during the passport control. Nobody checks whether the information I provided is true.

March 4. I arrive in Casablanca, at the language school where I will work in the upcoming months. There are no signs of the coronavirus. There is only slight annoyance among the locals at the “overreaction of the West.” In the end, to them, “It is just like seasonal flu, and people always get sick in the winter.”
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What Foreigners Need to Know about State of Emergency in Morocco

What does the state of health emergency mean for international tourists and expats currently residing in Morocco?

By Morocco World News - Mar 21, 2020 By Zuza Nazaruk Rabat

Yesterday at 6 pm, the Moroccan government introduced a country-wide state of a health emergency health emergency for an indefinite period. The move was announced on Thursday evening after Morocco saw the numbers of coronavirus infections skyrocket by 500% in just a week, from 17 cases on the 14th of March to 86 cases as of today. The Health Emergency is an additional measure to ‘keep the virus under control’: the shutdown of public places and the suspension of travel, both international and internal, have been in place since the beginning of this week.

The order implicates that all unnecessary activity may be suspended and that everybody currently residing in Morocco, no matter whether a national or a foreigner, restricts their movement and stays at home. Essential services, such as food, sanitary and medication trade, as well as vital economic sectors: industry and agriculture, will remain running. What does the state of health emergency mean for international tourists and expats currently residing in Morocco?

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Moroccan Students Enjoy Free Internet Access to Education Websites

The action seeks to help people in remote areas and people who cannot afford data credits to access websites made available during school suspension.

Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. Mar 22, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s telecommunication operators have decided to offer Moroccan students free internet access to websites hosting online classes amid the coronavirus-induced school suspensions. A joint press release from the Ministries of Education and Trade announced on March 22 that Inwi, Orange, and Maroc Telecom will afford free internet access to all online learning portals. The move seeks to ensure the continuity of the pedagogic approach aiming to provide all students with the opportunity to benefit from remote learning in the best conditions.
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