Morocco Is a Major Force in The MENA Region

By Mohamed LakdaliFez – Morocco has become “a major force” in the MENA region, thanks to a series of fundamental reforms made under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, according to an article published on the Report. In an article entitled “The New African Ambition of Morocco,” published in collaboration with the International New York Times, the newspaper reported that the progress made at both the institutional and community levels has helped to consolidate the pillars of stability that characterize Morocco, and that effective economic reforms have contributed to improving the daily lives of citizens and strengthening the position of the Kingdom internationally. The report highlighted Morocco’s textiles, aviation, agriculture and infrastructure sectors, and the Kingdom’s recently launched structural projects, such as the Tangier-Med port which will create more than 30,000 jobs, and improvements to the country’s highways.Morocco’s hi-speed train project (the TJV) that links Tangier and Casablanca, is the first one in Africa, and is expected to be ready by 2018. Ouarzazate is the home of a huge solar power project, phase II of which began operating in November, and will be completed by 2020.As a result of Morocco’s “ongoing economic transformation,” according to the report, Morocco is “about to start a new phase of development that will lead to a great African economic expansion achievement.”King Mohammed VI’s recent visits to many sub-Saharan Africa countries reflect the “success strategy” used at the Moroccan diplomatic and economic levels, and reflect the growing influence of Morocco on the African continent.“[T]he development of this South-South cooperation strengthens the role of the Kingdom of Morocco more than ever, as a major actor geo-politically within the continent and on the international economic front,” reported the paper. read more

Colombia UN sounds alarm about fresh floods in regions already suffering

3 May 2011The United Nations humanitarian arm is voicing concern about the situation in Colombia, where a new rainy season is wreaking havoc at a time when many areas have not yet recovered from last season’s devastating floods. Colombia’s meteorological authorities have maintained red alerts for the main rivers and river basins in the country’s Andean region, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.More than 2 million Colombians were affected by last year’s floods, and in some places flood waters are yet to recede, according to OCHA.The governors of some affected departments are reporting that this year’s flooding is worse than last year’s inundations, and the cumulative toll has risen to 410 people dead and 482 others missing.“The emergency in some areas of the country is not yet over, and we are really concerned about the impact of the new rainy season on already affected communities,” said Stephanie Bunker, a spokesperson for OCHA.A food security assessment conducted by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) earlier this year found that the food security and nutrition situation in flood-affected areas have deteriorated sharply, with many households along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts – among the hardest-hit areas – reducing their number of daily meals to two or even one.A third of households in the assessment had no income source, and the situation is exacerbated by the rising costs of many basic foods.Ms. Bunker said Colombian authorities had made significant efforts to respond to the floods, including holding a fundraising campaign that harnessed the support of the private sector, civil society and the international community.“We believe that it is very important to continue supporting the Government’s efforts as there are still unmet humanitarian needs, especially in the sectors of water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, nutrition and health, protection, housing and education.”OCHA reported that the humanitarian situation has been further complicated by the flooding extending to areas also affected by the long-standing armed conflict within Colombia. Illegal armed groups, including new groups that have formed after paramilitary groups were demobilized, operate in these areas. read more