Morocco pledges $57m for needy

Morocco has pledged $57 million to improve living conditions for people in need after a scandal at an orphanage in Casablanca caused a nationwide outcry.

    Squalid conditions at the Ain Chok orphanage caused outrage

    The pledge at a government-sponsored conference comes a few weeks after King Muhammad VI visited the Islamic Charity of Ain Chok orphanage, which cares for hundreds of children, and was shocked by its squalid living conditions.

    Maie Ayoub, Unicef's representative in Morocco, said the conference had made solid recommendations, but added: "This has to be the beginning.

    "Overall, it will be 489 million dirhams ($57 million) that will be spent from this year to 2008," a Social Development Ministry spokesman said.

    The conference agreed on a new code of conduct and established a federation grouping all charities to act as a fundraising and policy-making structure.

    The state will double its average daily charity-care budget to $2 a day each for 47,000 people, including youth and the elderly.

    It will also spend millions of dollars on renovating charity buildings.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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