Magharebia (Washington DC)

21 May 2014

Morocco Project Helps Rural Poor

Rabat — A Moroccan social programme marked its ninth anniversary on May 18th by showing its benefit to more than one million citizens.

The National Human Development Initiative (INDH) has helped create thousands of income-generating activities throughout the country.

The project had been more successful in rural areas than in urban zones, INDH deputy national co-ordinator Soulaiman El Hajam said Tuesday (May 20th) in Rabat at a meeting held to commemorate the anniversary.

The programme has helped integrate people in difficult situations into the economy in 2013, the INDH supported more than 6,000 interventions. Some 1,277,522 people benefited from various projects.

"These include increasing the involvement of young people, women and people with special needs in governing bodies, helping people to place products on the market, boosting income-generating activities and developing the sector approach and sustainability of some projects in terms of their operation," INDH governor Nadia Guermai explained.

Morocco must tap into the potential of projects supported by the INDH, Infrastructure Minister Aziz Rebbah said.

He called for the programme to be expanded to new regions and populations.

The INDH is an extremely important tool for the social economy. Crafts Minister Fatema Marouane agreed.

The minister noted success stories, such as the integration of women and young people into the crafts sector, and functional literacy training for women.

Beneficiaries are also happy with the scheme.

Salima Challmi told Magharebia that since her husband received help from the INDH, he has been able to earn a steady income.

"He set up a sheep-rearing project. Then he added another activity, bee-keeping, in partnership with other people. Our lives have changed," she said.

Supporting beneficiaries is the main challenge for the INDH, sociologist Samira Kassimi said.

"It is not enough to give funding to impoverished people to start up income-generating activities," Kassimi said. "Many beneficiaries have failed due to lack of experience, despite their ambitious goals," she told Magharebia.

"The INDH is a good programme for tackling unemployment among young people in both urban and rural areas," she added.

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