EU approves 180 million dollars in Morocco grants
The European Union's executive on Monday approved 135 million euros (180 million dollars) in grants to help Morocco improve the quality of its agriculture, build roads in remote districts and boost literacy, dpa reported.
The EU is wooing Morocco as a strategic partner, and is keen to see the country modernized and its economy strengthened, both to project stability beyond the bloc's borders and to improve Europe's trading opportunities.
The European Commission "today approved a new financial support package of 135 million euros for Morocco ... (which) will support reform by the Moroccan government in three areas: agricultural policy ... the strategy for integrating populations living in remote areas and the literacy strategy," a statement issued in Brussels said.
Half the money - 70 million euros - is destined for Moroccan programmes designed to support small farms, including by helping smallholders market their products and improve their standards.
Fifty-five million euros are allocated to a programme for building all-weather roads in remote areas, with the EU's funding expected to support the management and maintenance of the road network.
The final 10 million euros are intended for a range of programmes to teach Moroccan citizens to read and write.