Eleven months after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Morocco is facing a multiple crises. The coronavirus has inflicted heavy damage to the national economy and also has affected society. Disparities have increased, poverty has gained ground and, several months after the end of one of the world’s longest lockdowns, an important part of activity is still at a standstill.
The crisis can act as a catalyst for change, and it has boosted some of the social programmes that have been planned for several years now, including the universalisation of social security. Nevertheless, the Moroccan state has to manage the situation with the means at hand: a reduced budget, lacklustre political institutions and a dirigiste approach which, while reflecting a strong resolve to get the country out of its rut, can hardly replace deliberative and consultative decision-making processes.
The prospect of holding elections in 2021 does not delight many people, and the fear of massive abstention looms over the political calendar.
Despite all this, Morocco is trying to cope with the situation, especially on the international level: the country is actively negotiating with its partners to boost investment and expects a relative rebound in 2021.
Table of contents
1. Bleak Prospects for the Economy 6
2. Health: Rising Infection Rate, Exhausted Medical Personnel 8
3. Politics: Minimal Democratic Improvement and Fears of Low Voter Turnout 10
4. Gender Impact: More Challenging than Expected 12
5. A Limited Multilateral Cooperation, but Support from Traditional Partners 14
6. Conclusion 17