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Cold Weather: Morocco to Relieve the Suffering of 800,000 People this Winter

The expansive national strategy aims to reduce people’s suffering from winter’s long cold wave in rural areas

30 Dec 2021

Fez - Morocco's Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, said on December 28 that the government's 2021-2022 National Cold Wave Mitigation Plan targets 1,797 douars (countryside) in 233 localities under 27 provinces.

The operation aims to help 150,468 families, a total population of about 800,000 people, Laftit said.

During a session at the House of Councilors, the higher chamber of the Moroccan parliament, Laftit cited the planned aid in response to a question on 'preventive measures to cope with the cold snap and snowfall in rural and mountainous areas.'

The minister explained that the concerned areas are classified based on objective criteria, including possible duration of isolation.

Meeting criteria to be considered locations in need, Laftit referred to three tiers. The Red level refers to the 654 douars with a population of about 250,000 people who are at risk of being isolated for more than 7 days. The Orange threshold refers to the number of douars at risk of being isolated for 4 to 7 days, which is 845 for a population of around 330,000 people. The Yellow category covers 298 douars who are at risk of being isolated for two to three days, with a total population of almost 220,000 people.

The government's intervention strategy is generally focused on seven axes, as it has been in past years, explained the minister.

The social aid includes providing health services by building field hospitals under the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), as per King Mohammed VI's orders.

Due to the epidemic situation, the government will include the establishment of mobile hospitals under the Ministry of Health and the organization of mini-medical campaigns.

The axes also include field visits by mobile medical units in the several provinces identified, as well as monitoring the situation of pregnant women and the elderly who are isolated or suffer from chronic ailments.

The minister explained that the distribution of food aid and blankets, with the help of civil society, is also part of the campaign.

308 pregnant women were cared for in health centers and maternity wards as part of these procedures.

The campaign provides for the care of 1,868 homeless persons, placing them in temporary housing. There are plans for the mobilization of 1,323 medical-related machines belonging to the state services and others belonging to private individuals to be dispersed in rural areas.

The strategy includes the distribution of firewood and ovens, as well as the provision and distribution of subsidized animal fodder, the construction of roads, and the development of rural areas.

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