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Moroccan MP Calls for Audit of Morocco’s COVID-19 Special Fund

Source : | 19 September 2020 |  News | 168 views

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Rabat – A parliamentarian from Morocco’s Progress and Socialism Party (PPS) is calling for auditing the people and companies he believes benefited from the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19.Speaking during a hearing before the Commission of Productive Sectors at the House of Representatives, MPRachid Hamouniaccused certain sectors of enriching from the fund, and called for the publishing of a list of beneficiaries as well as the amount they benefited from, Moroccan newspaper Al Massae reported earlier today.The PPS parliamentarian also claimed that some companies got rich from the COVID-19 fund, while some sectors only used the COVID-19 crisis to improve their image.El Hamouni also expressed his astonishment at the fact that the Ministry of Health only received 5% of the COVID-19 Special Find, stating that the health sector is the most vital sector in the fight against the COVID-19, according to the same source.Even as he welcomed the Ministry of Health’s recent purchase of$206 million of medical equipment, the Moroccan MP questioned what the Ministry of Industry –which received the largest part of the fund– has made of its part of the fund.In addition, the Moroccan MP accused the Minister of Industry,Moulay Hafid Elalamy, of using the COVID-19 fund’s money for “marketing and publicity, without making any significant contribution to the fight against the pandemic.”El Hamouni especially took issue with the fact that Elalamy did not reveal anything about the budget that has been allocated to his department, or contracts with companies to acquire equipment and materials.Morocco’s Special fund for the management and response to COVID-19 reached MAD 33.7 billion ($3.6 billion) by the end of July, according to the General Treasury of the Kingdom (TGR).As part of its bulletin on the public finance statistics for the month of July, TGR also revealed that the special fund’s expenses have amounted to MAD 24.7 billion ($2.6 billion).King Mohammed VI ordered  the creation of the fund on March 15.  Its initial value was $1 billion, and it aimed to cover the costs of upgrading medical infrastructure and equipment.As the PPS MP mentioned, the Ministry of Health recently concluded a total of 247 deals with 98 different companies to purchase various covid-19 equipment, including drugs and personal protective equipment.However, the Ministry of Health, too, has faced accusations of mismanagement. A recent reportby Moroccan news outlet Le360 blamed the ministry’s bureaucracy for not making Moroccan-made ventilators available in time for Moroccan hospitals.

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