The United States government has granted Morocco MAD 6.6 million ($670,000) to respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infections Diseases at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) provided the funds, said a statement that the US embassy provided to Morocco World News.
USAID is directing the funds to the World Health Organization (WHO) under the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP). The plan should serve to stop further proliferation of the pandemic in affected and at-risk states to help reduce impacts, the statement said.
US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer commented on the aid, saying, “With longstanding partners like Morocco, we are working together to improve global capacity to contain outbreaks at their source and minimize their impact.”
The ambassador said the investments, along with the US-Morocco partnership, are “critical” to prepare for emerging threats, including the novel coronavirus crisis, in an effective and rapid manner.
The ambassador emphasized his country’s full support and determination to help Morocco and other US partners to prepare their laboratories for “large-scale testing” for the virus.
The US administration will also help Morocco to “implement a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses, train and equip rapid-response teams, investigate cases and trace the contacts of infected persons, and adapt training materials for health workers on COVID-19,” the statement added.
Morocco has confirmed 225 novel coronavirus cases as of today, March 26. Six patients have died as a result of infection, while seven patients recovered. The US has confirmed 54,453 cases, including 737 fatalities.
Morocco and the US maintain strong diplomatic and economic relations, with a regular exchange of visits between the countries’ officials.
Morocco is widely regarded as the strongest US ally in North Africa and remains the only African country party to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US.