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Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco has its political capital as Rabat while Casablanca remains the economic and business center of the country. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Algeria and Western Sahara.

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses. According to the constitution promulgated in 2011, political power is shared between the hereditary monarch and an elected bicameral parliament, consisting of the House of Councilors (upper chamber) and the House of Representatives (lower chamber). The country is divided into 12 regions and 75 provinces and urban prefectures, each ruled by a governor appointed by the king.

The total population of Morocco is about 36 million people with 65 per cent living in urban areas particularly along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast. About 27 per cent of the population are under the age of 15, and 22 per cent of the youth are estimated to be unemployed.

The economic growth of Morocco has been on a declining trend for the past two years. The GDP growth decreased sharply in 2019 to 2.3 per cent, down from 3 per cent in 2018 driven mainly by the reduction of agricultural output and the limited non-agricultural growth. On the demand side, private consumption has largely contributed to the growth, supported by higher salaries and low inflation. In 2020, the Moroccan economy was expected to experience a recede, the first in more than two decades, following the combined effect of the drought and the pandemic, further increasing budget deficit.

Risks, Hazards and Preparedness
Morocco is prone to earthquakes, floods and drought. The country experiences frequent earthquakes albeit the deadliest recorded was the Agadir earthquake in 1960 which resulted in the death of almost 15,000 people, 12,000 injuries and left 35,000 homeless. While its magnitude was moderate at 5.7, its perceived intensity was extreme on the Mercalli intensity scale. In February 2021, flash floods triggered by heavy rain resulted in about 25 deaths.

Following the 2004 Al Hoceima earthquake, the government stepped up preparedness and disaster risk management efforts. The created the Monitoring and Coordination Center/ Centre de Veille et de Coordination (CVC) in 2008, to strengthen human capacities and resources within the General Directorate of Civil Protection, the National Geophysical Institute, and the Directorate of National Meteorology.

Morocco has been implementing an integrated DRM reform program with three key elements: (i) promoting institutional reform and capacity-building activities, to establish a more systematic DRM process in Morocco; (ii) expanding the number and range of risk-management projects to focus on risk prevention and reduction, and on providing incentives for non-structural interventions; (iii) developing disaster risk financing solutions before disasters strike, e.g. a national insurance program to mitigate the effect of natural disasters on homeowners, businesses, and the poor.

Refugees and Asylum Seekers
According to UNHCR, Morocco is both a transit and a host country with 8,138 refugees and 5,395 asylum seekers registered from more than 45 countries as of December 2020. Around 55 per cent of the refugees originate from the Syrian Arab Republic, 16 per cent from other Middle Eastern countries and 25 per cent from Sub-Saharan African countries.