After the city of Oujda in January, it was around Rabat’s turn to take part in the workshop on Post-Covid response and recovery interventions for migrants, held on February 12, 2021 in the form of a webinar. The workshop organized by UCLG Africa in partnership with the IOM and the city of Rabat, is part of the Project “Towards a shared migration governance”, which is funded by the City of Madrid. The Mayor of Rabat, Mr. Mohamed Sadiki, opened the proceedings in the presence of Mrs. Ana Fonseca, Head of Mission of IOM in Morocco, Mr. Ahmed SKIM, Director of Migration Affairs at the Ministry of Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration Affairs, and Mr. François Yatta, Representing the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi. About a hundred people took part in the meeting, including ten presidents and general secretaries of migrant associations.
The involvement of the various actors around the management of the migration issue in the COVID and Post – COVID era underlines the importance of local authorities in migration governance according to Ms. Ana Francesca, Head of Mission of IOM Morocco. “This project gives us an opportunity to come together to ensure good governance of migration at the local level. The aim is to protect vulnerable migrants. The project meets the goals of the Global Compact for Migration and of the SDGs. On these two aspects, the local authorities play a key role. The program aims to stimulate all these links in the interaction of these actors in Morocco. And that with a perspective of South-South, South-North cooperation with the city of Madrid”, she explained.
The second part of the webinar was devoted to sharing experiences on the responses given to the migrant population of the city of Rabat during the pandemic. These actions were notably carried out by the city of Rabat, IOM, UNHCR, the “Orient Occident Foundation”, and other stakeholders.
It should be noted the creation of a digital app to help beneficiaries register their requests. It should also be pointed out that refugees benefited from UNHCR financial assistance, the dissemination of awareness-raising materials to deal with COVID, the launch of a psychological caravan, the establishment of a toll-free number open to all migrants, the launch of a web radio (LiveRadio) to educate and support migrants and asylum seekers, the establishment of an SOS Migrants unit, the distribution of food baskets and telephone refills, the manufacture of sanitary masks, the development of an online training platform, and other actions.
The Actions on the ground have come up against the major challenge posed by the fear of some migrants to ask for help, because they are afraid to be arrested or deported. In addition, many migrants do not benefit from the Moroccan regime for medical aid to the most deprived (“RAMED”), underlined the associations present.
The associations ask in particular:
– that migrants be made aware of their fundamental rights;
-and that advocacy be made for local funding of associations helping migrants.
Mr. François YATTA, Program Mr. François YATTA, Director of Programs of UCLG Africa, thanked, on behalf of the Secretary General, the IOM, the City of Rabat, the City of Madrid, and the “local associations of migrants who do a painstaking work on the ground “. Mr. YATTA took the opportunity to thank the Kingdom of Morocco for the “establishment of the African Migration Observatory which is an effective tool for managing the phenomenon of migration. The added value of this observatory will be to set up a multi-level information gathering process”.
Watch the full webinar below (in French).