The House of Representatives unanimously adopted, Friday during a legislative session, bill n° 50.23 granting the status of “Wards of the Nation” to children victims of the Al Haouz earthquake.
Presenting the bill, Abdeltif Loudyi, Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of National Defense Administration, said that the text, approved by the Council of Ministers on October 19, was drawn up in accordance with the High Instructions of King Mohammed VI for the immediate care of orphaned children who lost their families and were left without resources, following the violent earthquake that struck the Al Haouz province on September 8, also affecting the prefecture of Marrakech and the provinces of Chichaoua, Taroudant, Ouarzazate and Azilal.
This bill, which comprises three articles, aims to extend the provisions relating to the rights stipulated in law no° 33-97 concerning wards of the nation (promulgated by Dahir no. 1-99-191 of August 25, 1999), as a framing text, to include child victims of the Al Haouz earthquake who meet the conditions enabling them to enjoy the status of wards of the nation, explained Loudyi.
The bill defines the conditions for granting the status of “wards of the nation” to victims of the Al Haouz earthquake, in accordance with the provisions of law 33.97, and stipulates that this status is granted to children whose father or main breadwinner died as a result of the Al Haouz earthquake, or died as a result of injuries sustained during the earthquake, he said.
The Minister Delegate specified that, as in the case of existing laws in this field, the bill considers as the main breadwinner any person who was taking care of the child at the time of the father’s death or even during his lifetime, adding that to ensure the application of the provisions of this bill, the second article provides for the creation of an administrative commission at the level of the prefecture of Marrakech and the provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Taroudant and Azilal, whose mission is to draw up a list of children benefiting from the status of “wards of the nation”.
The composition and working methods of this commission will be defined by a decision of the Head of Government, he added.
He also indicated that the Hassan II Foundation for the Social Works of Former Soldiers and Veterans would be taking a series of measures following the adoption and promulgation of this law to ensure optimum application of its provisions.
On the subject of the rights guaranteed to child victims of the Al Haouz earthquake with the status of Wards of the Nation, the Minister Delegate pointed out that the bill, whose provisions come into force on September 8, 2023, stipulates that these children are granted all the rights set out in law no. 33-97 concerning Wards of the Nation, in particular that relating to the granting by the State of financial and moral support consisting of a total monthly aid of 1,250 dirhams.
These children also benefit from free hospital and surgical care in State-affiliated civilian and military health establishments, and several discounts for rail transport, in addition to the granting of financial aid at the start of each school year and on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha for each family, added Loudyi.
Children affected by the Al Haouz earthquake will also benefit, he noted, from priority access to education and training establishments and scholarships, in addition to priority access to the civil service within State administrations, public establishments and local authorities.
On this occasion, Loudyi welcomed the swift and positive interaction of the House of Representatives with this bill, which will help improve the socio-economic situation of these children.
During a legislative session on Tuesday, the House of Councillors also unanimously adopted bill no. 50.23 granting the status of “Wards of the Nation” to children victims of the Al Haouz earthquake.