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U.S. Commemorates 50 Years of Partnership in Morocco

Contact: USAID Press Office: 202-712-4320; Public Information: 202-712-4810


WASHINGTON, April 20 /Standard Newswire/ -- The U.S. Government recently celebrated 50 years of partnership in development with the Government of Morocco. U.S. and Moroccan officials recently marked the occasion in ceremonies in Morocco and in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


On April 2, 1957, the United States initiated a program of economic and technical assistance to Morocco. Since then, the American people have invested over $2 billion in the human, economic, and institutional development of Morocco.


Under its long partnership with the Moroccan Government, the U.S. has helped change Moroccan lives for the better, working with government agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector. Over the 50-year relationship, the most notable successes have come in agriculture and agribusiness, health, primary education, housing and urban development, microfinance, small and medium enterprise growth, and water management.


Earlier this week Randall L. Tobias, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator, and Moroccan Ambassador Aziz Mekouar commemorated the partnership at the ambassador's residence in Maryland.


"Fifty years ago, Morocco was a very different place from the country we know today," said Tobias. "The pull of the cities has meant that Morocco is no longer rural. Water systems help mitigate against drought. Potable water and electricity are found in most homes. The massive expansion of the country's education infrastructure means that children and adults both have access."


Noting that Morocco and the United States have moved "from a traditional assistance relationship to one based on mutual benefit and interdependence," Ambassador Tobias also observed that the relationship considerably exceeds 50 years. "In fact, 230 years ago Morocco was one of the first states in the world to acknowledge publicly the independence of the American Republic - in 1777," he said.


The cooperation continues, with the mutual goal of building an educated, democratic Moroccan nation that is competitive in the global marketplace.


A ceremony last week in Rabat, the Moroccan capital, was attended by American and Moroccan officials, including Her Royal Highness Princess Lala Miriam, U.S. Ambassador Thomas Riley and Washington, D.C. based USAID Sr. Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near East Mark Ward.


For more information about USAID's programs in Morocco, please visit: