Roads of hope morocco


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Not so long ago, the mountains
hemming in Tislit meant that the village’s
inhabitants had almost no access to medical centres.
Today, its population has access to services and their economic productivity
can grow. The Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) is a financial mechanism
that aims, amongst other things, to reduce disparities between rural and urban
areas. The modernisation of the road leading to Tislit village is a good example
of this happening in practice.

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Roads of hope morocco

  1. 1. Transport > Morocco Roads of hopeNot so long ago, the mountains www.enpi-info.euhemming in Tislit meant that the village’sinhabitants had almost no access to medical centres.Today, its population has access to services and their economic productivitycan grow. The Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) is a financial mechanismthat aims, amongst other things, to reduce disparities between rural and urbanareas. The modernisation of the road leading to Tislit village is a good exampleof this happening in practice.Text and photos by: Hicham HoudaïfaRABAT – “During the winter this road is barely usable. Taxis refuse to come here. I come from the town of Azilal to teachin the village. Now, at least, the road has been modernised.” Nadia, a teacher at Tislit’s primary school, travels to and fromthe village each day. Before, the 37 kilometres of road between Tislit and the regional road were a nightmare. But a journeythat used to take three hours can now be done in half an hour. “Having finished levelling the terrain, today we’re at thelast stage, which involves gravelling and surfacing the road,” proudly remarks Jawad Faghloumi, director for facilities and transport in the Provincial Authority of Azilal.This publication does The grave consequences of isolationnot represent theofficial view of the EC Azilal. The province is one of Morocco’s poorest and at the same time one of its most isolated. A littleor the EU institutions. over half a million people live there, with 14% inhabiting the towns and 86% living in rural areas. TheThe EC accepts no entire province is mountainous, hence the need to open the regionresponsibility or ENPI Info Centre – Feature no. 34liability whatsoever up. In many parts of the province, inhabitants have no access to This is a series of features onwith regard to its health centres, particularly during the wintertime. Children are un- projects funded by the EU’scontent. able to reach schools and so drop out of education at an early age, Regional Programme, prepared by journalists and photographers on whilst mothers often die in childbirth due to the lack of proper ac- the ground or the ENPI Info cess to the main roads. The figures speak volumes about Azilal’s sit- Centre. ENPI Info Centre/EU 2010©
  2. 2. Roads of hope p.2 ENPI Info Centre - Feature no. 34 uation: as one of the country’s most isolated “Before, when provinces, Azilal has one of the highest levels of pregnant illiteracy, especially amongst women. Further- women suf- more, isolation helps maintain many ancestral fered compli- customs, such as the traditional marriage. These cations, they stultify the region since girls in rural communi- had a one in ties marry at the age of 14 or 15 and are denied two chance of their right to education and to a dignified life. surviving due The Ministry for Facilities and Transport is work- to the poor ing double-time to build a maximum number of state of the roads in the region. It’s within the Provincial Au- road.” thority for Facilities and Transport that that everything happens. A young team has been charged with implementing the National Pro- n Children leaving the primary gramme for Rural Roads II (Programme national school in Tislit des routes rurales II, PNRR II), earmarking a package of 770 million dirhams (approximately €65.8 million) for the construction of 402 km of roads and the modernisation of a further 160 km of roads. The programme’s socio-economic impact is significant as it will connect the province’s rural communities to the main road network and will improve the level of accessibility from 50% to 80% by 2012. The Bank for Road Financing is in charge of man- aging the funds. Europe granted €9.8 million to the Bank within the framework of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility. “Opening up rural areas will put an end to the isolation “If this road of entire regions,” remarks Eneko Landaburu, Ambassador and Head of Delegation for the has tarmac European Union in Rabat, “meaning better access to schooling and healthcare, as well as put down, it a reduction in costs and an improvement in economic productivity.” will allow The European Commission created the Neighbourhood Investment Facility in June 2008 this beauti- n Abderahmane Ennaji member of the Association for with the aim of helping the European Union’s neighbours to its South and its East fund im- ful region to Youths in Support of Innovation and Development portant infrastructure investments where the private sector is unable to take these on. benefit from These investments relate principally to the provision of public services to citizens, requiring its natural large sums that can be difficult to obtain from the financial markets in the form of loans, strengths: not least in the context of the current financial crisis. In such cases, the grants made avail- mountain able by the NIF can prove very useful. “The national programme for rural roads,” Ambassa- tourism dor Eneko Landaburu continues, “is a perfect example of the kind of initiatives prioritised round the “Opening up rural by the NIF, that is, financing projects that Bouhrajenareas will put an end reduce regional disparities, improve local Amghizin to the isolation of development and access to services, and pass, our al- entire regions, make public resources more productive.” mond farm- meaning better ac- cess to schooling ing…” and healthcare, as No easy task Nevertheless, building or modernisingwell as a reduction in roads in Azilal is no easy task. “The pipes costs and an im- carrying drinking water need to be redone provement in eco- and a compromise has to be reached withnomic productivity.” the local population for widening the roads. In our jargon, we call these limitations. What’s more, on numerous occasions here in Azilal we’ve had to use explosives be- cause of the rocks,” says Jawad Faghloumi, the engineer in charge of the road. Yet n Modernisation of the thanks to these works Tislit can see the light road between Azilal and Tislit.
  3. 3. Roads of hope p.3ENPI Info Centre - Feature no. 34 at the end of the tunnel. Abderah- mane Ennaji, 27 years-old and a member of the Association for Youths in Support of Innovation and Development recounts how “before, when pregnant women suffered complications, they had a one in two chance of surviving due to the poor state of the road.” He continues: “If this road has tarmac put down, it will allow this beautiful region to benefit from its natural strengths: mountain tourism round the Bouhrajen Amghizin pass, our n The inhabitants of isolated douars (tent villages) still use almond farming…”. narrow trails across the mountains Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) The NIF is an innovative mechanism which is part of the European Neighbourhood Policy and which aims to mobilise additional funding for infrastructure projects in neighbouring countries, bringing together grants from the European Commission and the Member States with loans from European public finance institutions. Participating countries Aims Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, The Neighbourhood Investment Facility aims to mobilise additional funds for infrastructure projects Lebanon, Morocco, Occupied in neighbouring countries. The NIF promotes in particular the energy, transport and environment Palestinian Territory, Syria, sectors, but financial support can also be provided for projects focusing on developing SMEs or Tunisia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, infrastructure in the social sector. By encouraging unified European action, the NIF allows for the Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, real coordination of donors, the sharing of tasks and the harmonisation of procedures. Russia, Ukraine Find out more Timeframe Description of NIF > 2007-2013 The people behind the projects > derri%C3%A8re-les-projets-:-entretien-avec-Richard-Weber---FIV Budget Multi-country cooperation instruments > €700 million The ENPI Info Centre is an EU-funded Regional Information and Communication project highlighting the partnership between the EU and Neighbouring countries. The project is managedENPI info centre info ce t e by Action Global Communications. p