Development Cooperation minister on five-day diplomacy trip to Morocco
Federal minister for Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez will leave for Morocco on Friday morning. During her five-day working visit, she will participate in the World Bank's annual meeting, visit the region hit by a massive earthquake a few weeks ago and visit local projects that are part of Belgium's cooperation programme with Morocco.
The visit will begin in Marrakech, where Gennez will attend the World Bank's General Assembly. The international organisation lends money on favourable terms to developing countries to strengthen their economies and reduce poverty.
On Saturday, Gennez will visit several projects that are part of a five-year cooperation programme launched by Belgium and Morocco in 2018. This will be followed by a stop at a date factory and meetings with projects that support the saffron sector in Agdz.
"Our partnership with Morocco is one of the longest in Belgian development cooperation," said Gennez. "Our current programme focuses mainly on sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship. The aim is to allow Moroccan youth, women and farmers to take control of their own future. On this mission, we will visit ongoing projects and see their impact and results for ourselves."
A visit to the region where the 6.8-magnitude earthquake occurred in early September is also on the programme. The disaster left 3,000 people dead and at least 5,600 injured. Belgium has since pledged 5 million euros of aid for the victims.
"We want to strengthen our cooperation further"
Gennez will also visit the Red Crescent site in Ida Ou Gommad, where she will meet volunteers and families who lost their homes during the earthquake. "We want to strengthen our cooperation further, with a focus on reconstruction," she said.
One of the main focuses of the trip is spotlighting the needs of young people and women. This includes a visit to a centre that combats gender-based violence in Casablanca, which will be followed by a panel discussion with young Moroccan people.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK