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Policymakers need to take time to truly understand how to eradicate poverty in Morocco. This will clearly improve the awareness among poor families to keep their children in school so they can be well educated and, in time, become part of a skilled workforce. In addition, not only can education help lift households out of poverty, but also protect them from falling back into poverty. In doing so, the fight against illiteracy has the potential to serve as a tool of social mobility for Moroccans.

Second, to end poverty in Morocco, corruption must be tackled. By creating an environment of good governance , people will once again start believing in public services such as law enforcement, schools and hospitals. It is essential that national sentiment in such fundamental sectors is restored so people start to value them again.

Good governance that combines transparency, credibility and efficiency is essential for any state that seeks to end poverty once and for all. Finally, promoting the benefits of volunteering will make an important collaboration between young change-makers and national and international organizations possible. Therefore, both sets of stakeholders should work together to solve the issue of poverty by creating innovative solutions, as well as accelerating national efforts that help impoverished people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Entrepreneurship could be such a means. For Moroccans, it is our hope that the country will one day join the league of developed nations. But, for now, many hurdles lie in wait. In partnership with the United Nations Foundation, Fair Observer taught more than students in six countries—India, Morocco, Kenya, Austria, Mexico and the United States—about journalism and substantive issues such as water, health and poverty.

Photo Credit: Tunart.

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Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics (Arabic Overview)

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Prince Sultan bin Salman , a son of Crown Prince Salman, said in an interview that the government has acknowledged the existence of poverty and is working to "meet its obligations to its own people".

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Prince Sultan said the Saudi government was "three to five years" away from dramatically reducing poverty through economic development, micro-lending, job training and creation of new jobs for the poor. The Saudi government spends several billion dollars each year to provide free education and health care to all citizens, as well as a variety of social welfare programmes — even free burials.

The government also provides pensions, monthly benefits and payments for food and utility bills to the poor, elderly, disabled, orphans and workers who are injured on the job.


Much of the welfare spending comes from the Islamic system of zakat, a religious requirement that individuals and corporations donate to charity 2. Despite those efforts, poverty and anger over corruption continue to grow.

Vast sums of money end up in the pockets of the royal family through a web of nepotism, corruption and cozy government contracts, according to Saudi and US analysts. Bsheer said some Saudi royals enrich themselves through corrupt schemes, such as confiscating land from often-poor private owners, then selling it to the government at exorbitant prices.

At the other end of the spectrum, many of the poorest Saudis are in families headed by women such as Shamir, who are either widowed, divorced or have a husband who cannot work. Under Islamic law, men are required to financially support women and their children. So women who find themselves without a man's income struggle, especially because the kingdom's strict religious and cultural constraints make it hard for women to find jobs.

The untrodden path? Policy analysis and social change in the Arab region

The situation for many families, including Shamir's, is worse because they are "stateless" and not officially recognised as Saudi citizens, even though they were born in the country. The UN estimates that there are 70, stateless people in Saudi Arabia, most of them descended from nomadic tribes whose traditional territory included parts of several countries. Their legal limbo makes it harder for them to receive government benefits. Shamir, 35, lives in the shadow of a huge cement factory. The houses and streets are covered in a haze of smoke and dust.

Her concrete house is down a narrow alley, where graffiti covers the cracked walls and litter piles up in the street.

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Her landlord is threatening to kick her out, and a local shop owner has cut off her credit for food and gas for her stove. She lives mainly on charity from wealthy Saudis who show up with food and clothes. One recent morning, her children ran to the door to help unload food being dropped off by a middle-class Riyadh couple in an SUV.

Poverty - Wikipedia

Shamir said donations help her pay for the electricity to run an air conditioner, but she does not have enough to buy school supplies for her children. While middle-class Saudi youths have all the latest gadgets, Shamir's year-old daughter, Norah, has never sent an email or seen Facebook. Her husband has a second wife who has another 10 children.

Most of them are unemployed.