In order to support the response program of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the COVID-19 crisis in favor of refugees residing in Morocco, the organization has joined forces with the Japanese Cooperation Agency International (JICA) to set up a project amounting to $ 275,000.
The HCR-JICA project, which will be implemented from March to September 2021, will both assist refugees from a medical point of view, especially in the context of prevention and awareness of COVID-19 but also to support project leaders whose income-generating activities have been severely affected.
“The implementation of this project will be done in close collaboration with UNHCR’s implementing partners: the Moroccan Association for Family Planning (AMPF) for the medical component and the Moroccan Association for Support to the Promotion of La Petite Entreprise (AMAPPE) for the empowerment of refugees through self-employment; thus allowing better local integration in their host country ”, indicate the two partners in a joint press release. He added that: “JICA’s support for UNHCR’s programs is in line with the National Immigration and Asylum Strategy (SNIA) and the multi-stakeholder approach of the Global Compact on Refugees. . This project will also strengthen JICA’s commitment to address disparities in Morocco and support vulnerable populations, especially during this pandemic situation. This JICA-HCR partnership is all the more important, since it symbolizes the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two agencies ”.
It should be recalled that on February 1, 2021, more than 14,000 people, spread over 75 localities in Morocco, are registered with the UNHCR, which includes 8,300 refugees and nearly 5,700 asylum seekers. “Following the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the protection needs of this vulnerable population were exacerbated, impacting both their socioeconomic situation, their ability to meet their basic needs, their mental state and their mental health. . From then on, the UNHCR continued to operate and had to quickly adapt to this new context while respecting the directives and measures undertaken by the Moroccan government in order to be able to continue to meet the growing protection and assistance needs of these populations ” , underlines the press release. “At the same time, JICA also continued its activities and projects to support the government of Morocco to fight the pandemic, including the Support Loan in response to the COVID-19 crisis, signed with the government of Morocco in December 2020” , concludes the same source.