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Morocco lost 8 years of progress in poverty alleviation

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Morocco has regressed eight years in its progress towards eliminating poverty and economic vulnerability, according to a recent report titled “Inflation Heroes” by Oxfam Morocco. 

The level of poverty and vulnerability in 2022 is the same as it was in 2014, the organization states.

The report revealed that approximately 3.2 million additional people in Morocco have fallen into poverty (1.15 million) or vulnerability (2.05 million). 

This crisis in the cost of living due to record levels of inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the social situation of various segments of Moroccans. 

The crisis has been exacerbated by the ongoing drought in Morocco, which has added extra pressure on purchasing power.

In the first quarter of 2023, inflation in Morocco reached record levels, jumping to 9.4% compared to 4% during the same period in 2022, according to data from the High Commission for Planning.

Despite the government’s measures and the actions taken by the Bank Al-Maghrib to stimulate the economy, the report considers that these measures have not restored confidence among economic actors, as the economic climate still remains uncertain.

Even as inflation rates decrease and the Bank Al-Maghrib expects a continued decrease, Oxfam believes that the impact of this crisis persists. 

This decrease will be seen especially with the decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 7.9% in 2021 to 1.2% in 2022 and the increase in the trade deficit from 2.3% to 4.1%.

Given these data, Oxfam noted that the High Commission for Planning forecasted a 5% increase in prices annually since 2021; an unprecedented level in Morocco for forty years.

The report stated that citizens whose incomes do not evolve will lose, on average, 5% of their purchasing power, making them, with the same income, able to buy fewer goods and services.

Despite the negative economic indicators, Oxfam said that the decrease in inflation, mainly driven by the decline in fuel prices, constitutes a positive factor. 

However, it warned that the continuous decrease in the cost of energy in the long term is not desirable for future generations due to the environmental impacts of its consumption.

The report called for exceptional measures and urged a special focus on the needs of the most vulnerable groups in society. 

Oxfam also called for economic policies aimed at supporting the purchasing power of these groups. 

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