Photo credit: AFP
February 18, 2020
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists–every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: Essaouira – The autonomous government of Ceuta has called a meeting on Monday, January 17, with the government of Melilla to come up with an action plan to “respond energetically” to the “pressure” Morocco is putting on the two enclaves to “suffocate their economies,” according to a statement from the spokesperson for the government of Ceuta, Alberto Gaitan.
Key Background: The upcoming meeting between the two enclaves in Malaga comes after Morocco’s government-imposed restrictions and the permanent closure of the borders that hundreds of women “mules” use to carry goods in and out of the Spanish enclave to sell. Rabat suspended access to the Ceuta border Tarajal II gate on October 9 and closed the Melilla crossing border over 19 months ago when Morocco could no longer turn a blind eye to the detrimental effects of the practice on its economy.
Why is it Newsworthy?: As the bridge between Africa and Europe, Cueta and Melilla have been at the heart of migration discussions between Spain and Morocco. While the Morrocan economy benefits from closing the border, they are also imposing their power over the Spanish enclaves which may have harmful effects on their economy. If a decision that action needs to be taken by the enclaves against the Moroccan government, the fallout from that will have effects on both economies and migration policy.
Source: United Nations Population Fund
Lede: RABAT, Morocco – Madame Najat Baloui, a midwife in Casablanca, vividly remembers childbirth that went horribly wrong. “A woman was delivering vaginally,” Ms. Baloui recalled. “After several hours, the labour stopped suddenly.”
Nut Graf: Midwives have played a key role in mothers’ survival: As more professional midwives entered the workforce, births became safer. Today, nearly 89 per cent of births in Morocco are assisted by professional midwives.
With greater support, resources and training, midwives would be able to could help to avert a majority of these deaths.
Why is it Newsworthy?: Midwives not only aid in childbirth but play a significant role in reproductive health care. UNFPA support has assisted greatly, but with more support from the Moroccan government more deaths can be prevented. This article is calling for support in the form of medical resources, training, expanding accessibility, and increasing public awareness of this resource.
Source: The North African Post
Lede: King Mohammed VI of Morocco had in recent months urged measures to promote the development of a rural middle class via promoting agricultural activity and making loans easier to access in the countryside.
Key Background: After calling for a revamp of the agricultural promotion strategy in Morocco, building on the achievements of the Green Morocco Plan, the King oversaw the launch of a new plan dubbed Generation Green 2020-2030, which aims at creating 350,000 jobs. The new plan is thus designed to foster a rural middle class that will benefit from access to one million hectares after the King gave instructions in that regards in October 2018.
Why is it Newsworthy?: This new economic initiative aims to grow the agricultural industry, create jobs in the sector and boost agricultural exports to $6 billion. While the launch of the program advertises itself to be a fight against rural poverty, the sale of land and investment by new entrepreneurs may work inversely. A special fund was created to guarantee loans in rural areas with 2 billion dirhams exclusively reserved for investors.