President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen issued a press statement yesterday reporting on progress with the Coronavirus Global Response Initiative which was launched on 4 May. More than 40 countries, United Nations bodies and philanthropies made a pledge towards the research and development of coronavirus solutions at this global event – with €7.4 billion – raised that day.
Since that date more and more countries realise that we are all together in this, and that no one is safe until we are all safe. Pledges to the Coronavirus Global Response have risen this week to €9.8 billion – exceeding the original target. Additional country donors now include Morocco and New Zealand which both set exceptional examples in their respective continents, Morocco being the largest single donor in the continent of Africa. A full list of donors and breakdown of donations are available on the European Commission’s website here.
The Commission is now moving to the next phase of mobilisation, looking for further commitment from all partners and more resources. The purpose is to fast track research and development of a vaccine – for all who need it, not just for those people and countries that can afford it. The Commission is now launching a new campaign called ‘Global Goal: Unite for our Future’.
On 27 June, President von der Leyen will host a final pledging summit – where businesses, foundations and citizens will have the opportunity to join forces with public donors.
Commenting on the initiative, the Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research of Morocco Driss Ouaouicha said: “More than ever before, decision makers today are guided by research findings and recommendations. Morocco, under the leadership of his Majesty King Mohamed VI, is fully committed to supporting and encouraging research to contribute to facing the pandemic and overcoming the Coronavirus. The European Union Coronavirus Global Response is praiseworthy; it provides a framework not only for Europeans, but also for other willing participants from Africa and elsewhere to come together, work together, and ultimately bring people’s lives, the world over, back to the next normal.”
Morocco is among the first countries to support the International Pledging Initiative to mobilise funds for COVID-19, and an important ally for the EU in the global fight against the virus.
Morocco joined the global efforts to fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and to minimise its impact on the population, mainly on the economic, social and psychological levels.
Morocco has taken a series of measures since the appearance of the coronavirus. It has launched several initiatives in the field of scientific research and innovation related to Covid-19 (conducting clinical and pharmacovigilance studies, production of an artificial respiration device, design of an application for track and tracing).
Morocco has also succeeded in putting in place an arsenal of important measures for the fight against Covid-19, through a number of measures. Firstly, the Production of masks: 10 Million masks at relatively moderate prices for local consumption, but which could also be destined for Europe or elsewhere when production has met local demand for supplies.
Today, 23 factories are responsible for the manufacture of non-woven masks. According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and the Green and Digital Economy, “Morocco has exceeded a daily production of 10 million masks. Given that Morocco has a strategic stock for the post-confinement of 50 million masks, we decided yesterday to proceed with the export of these masks. Foreign countries that are interested, including France for example, have conducted tests to ensure that the quality of the product complies with their local standards,” said the minister during a session devoted to oral questions, held Monday, May 11 in the Moroccan parliament.
In addition, Morocco has begun exporting medical equipment made in Morocco, namely suits, blouses, over-blouses, visors, over-shoes etc.
The manufacture of test kits for the detection of COVID 19 has been pioneered; a Moroccan MAScIR test for the detection of COVID has recently been validated by the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
Research and development institutes have designed a respirator as well as a temperature measuring device for patients suffering from coronavirus (Covid-19). These technological innovations, made of components fully available on the Moroccan market, will be operational in both urban and rural areas, and will have an autonomy of more than 3000 hours. Once the production of the 100% Moroccan artificial respirator (SIRCOS) is completed in the coming weeks, the product will be made available to the local health system and could also be available for export as soon as local demand for supplies has been met.
Morocco also has a strong pharmaceutical industry. If a treatment is found, Morocco will be able to make its capacities available, according to corroborating sources, to support the production of this treatment for Africa, at accessible costs without restrictions or barriers.
Finally His Majesty King Mohamed VI of Morocco has initiated a special fund of 3 billion euros, to cover the expenses resulting from this health crisis. This fund will be used to finance the expenses needed to upgrade the medical system, in terms of adapted infrastructures and additional means to be acquired urgently. Additionally, the fund will be used to support the Moroccan economy and assist the sectors most affected by this health crisis. Other national measures include the suspension of the payment of social charges and the establishment of a moratorium on the repayment of bank loans to companies.