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Country Reports

Morocco Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The king remains the ultimate political arbiter in Morocco, despite gradual constitutional reforms. There is persistent jihadist intent to attack tourists, but most plots are disrupted by security forces. Catalysts for protests include official corruption, police violence, and delays to investment projects. Protests lasting longer than a week are likely to affect mainly rural areas, or regions with a strong separatist identify such as the Rif. Moroccan determination to begin exploiting resources in Western Sahara raises protest risks there and increases the likelihood of Sahrawi legal challenges to contracts through international courts. Onerous bureaucracy, lack of transparency and a weak judicial system represent the main risks to foreign investors, but Morocco's general compliancewith EU standards and pro-investment outlook largely mitigate these risks.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Operational Outlook

Morocco's operational environment has benefited from the relaxation of regulations affecting foreign investment and the opening of the economy to private involvement. The government has prioritised structural and legal reforms that improve protection for foreign investors. Morocco has a large but unskilled labour force. Obstacles to investment include high levels of illiteracy, high non-salary costs of employing workers, pervasive corruption, and a slow-moving bureaucracy . Infrastructure investment has focused on expanding and improving sea, rail, and road links, particularly the highway network.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Terrorism

High

Jihadist activity in Morocco focuses on small, independent cells with few members, organised around charismatic individuals who often have links with Moroccan jihadists fighting in Iraq and Syria. These cells are generally divided between those planning attacks in Morocco and those recruiting young men to fight abroad. The security forces are highly effective at disrupting cells in the planning stages of attacks. Nonetheless, the increasing geographical spread of groups increases the likelihood of successful low-capability attacks by small cells, or self-radicalised individuals, in the coming year.

Last update: March 27, 2018

War Risks

Moderate

The territorial dispute over Western Sahara is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future, with infrequent and limited skirmishes probable along the border. The Polisario's main backer, Algeria, probably wishes to avoid a return to armed conflict. The major game-changer concerning Western Sahara would be a change in the position of the Polisario's and Morocco's respective foreign supporters, to push each side towards compromise. This is unlikely as long as the main regional powerbroker, the United States, remains constrained by the priority of maintaining good relations with both Algeria and Morocco as part of regional counter-terrorism efforts.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Social Stability

High

Widespread, politically destabilising protests are only likely to occur in the event that food subsidies are rapidly cut. The government is likely to avoid such an action. Protests are otherwise likely to remain geographically limited, particularly in the Rif region. Labour unions co-ordinate their actions and are likely to mount strikes in multiple sectors, although these are highly unlikely to be violent or threaten the stability of the government. Risks of violent protest are higher in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, where the security forces are likely to respond with force to rioting by disaffected Sahrawis.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Health Risk

High

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: November 27, 2013

Natural Risks

High

Morocco is situated in an active seismic region; an earthquake struck near Al-Hoceima in February 2004 (northeast), leaving 300 people dead. In July 2017, two more earthquakes struck Al-Hoceima (magnitude 4.0) and Saidia (magnitude 4.9), leaving minor damage.

Furthermore, significant flooding in the High Atlas valley can also take place during the rainy season (November to March). Torrential rains may sporadically damage roads and result in landslides. Localized flooding is generally due to poor water discharge systems.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Elevated

Traffic accidents are a major concern. Morocco has a record of poor road safety, partly due to local driving habits (e.g. poor-quality vehicles, high speed driving, disobeying driving laws, etc.). Poor street lighting and harsh weather conditions also contribute to the high rate of accidents.

"Petits taxis" - smaller taxis that are commonly found in most cities - hold up to three passengers. Most such taxis are metered. Some petits taxis will pick up additional passengers traveling the same route, at which point the fare will be divided. Each town features its own particular color for petits taxis; for example, they are red in Casablanca and blue in Rabat. Petits taxis are generally recommended for use rather than public transportation within cities. "Grands taxis" are usually white Mercedes cars that use fixed urban or interurban routes. They can be crowded and uncomfortable. These are generally not recommended for use by visitors except in rural areas where there are no other transportation options.

Buses may be used to travel between certain cities. Comfort and safety may vary according to the chosen company.

Train networks are poorly maintained and delays are common.

Moroccan international airports adhere to international air safety standards. Security personnel are present and the government has taken steps to improve airport security, especially since the terrorist attacks in Paris of November 2015.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Infrastructure

Telecommunications networks are good in major cities, with available internet access and developed 4G networks. However, access to telecommunications networks is limited in rural areas.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

The climate in Morocco varies by elevation and by region, with Mediterranean conditions in the north, more temperate conditions in the west, and arid conditions in the south.

The climate along the coast is temperate; between May and October the region experiences pleasant temperatures and sunny days. Winters are cooler but still sunny. The ocean remains cool throughout the year on the Atlantic coast. The Sirocco and Chergui, hot and dry winds from the Sahara, sometimes sweep through the country and significantly raise temperatures, particularly inland. In the mountainous regions conditions are cold and damp during the winter months with snow falling in the Atlas Mountains.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +212
Police-Emergency (inside agglomerations): 19
Royal Gendarmerie (outside agglomerations): 177
Fire Dept., Ambulance: 15

Electricity

Voltage: 127/220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: January 7, 2014