Caitlin Dearing Scott
March 13, 2017
2017 marks a special year for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Morocco – the 60th anniversary of its partnership in the Kingdom. According to the agency, “Since 1957, the United States has placed Morocco at the heart of its foreign diplomacy. Throughout this proud shared history, the American people, through USAID, have invested in the human, economic, and institutional development in Morocco. Hand in hand with the people and government of Morocco, we have achieved major milestones.”
USAID officially launched its programs in Morocco on April 2, 1957, when the two countries signed an agreement for the US to provide Morocco with economic and technical assistance. Since that time, the US has invested over $2 billion in Morocco working on a range of issues, including education, health, and economic development, with a special emphasis on reaching women and youth.
Some of the highlights of the last 60 years include:
- The construction of dams and water systems to make more land available for productive use;
- Family planning and reproductive health programs that have drastically reduced infant and maternal mortality rates;
- Job creation programs and support for the creation of microcredit institutions to provide capital hundreds of thousands of small businesses owners; and
- Teacher training programs to improve education at all levels.
As a result of this support and cooperation with the Moroccan government, the Kingdom has witnessed profound change, leading USAID to conclude its overview of the last 60 years by noting:
Today, Morocco remains a stable Monarchy and a vital ally to the United States. The Government of Morocco and its citizens show clear commitment to democratic change and are working towards enhanced citizen participation in achieving greater social and economic opportunity for all citizens through targeted and progressive reforms.
USAID plans to honor this anniversary with a special celebration every month of the year, focused on “past and present successes in a specific sector: from civil society engagement, to agriculture, to youth opportunity.” Stay tuned to MOTM as we cover the anniversary and celebrate this special relationship!