Developing early childhood in Morocco is a commitment to the future

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Did you know that investments in the first years of life are 1.5 to 5 times more profitable than those made at another time in life? Studies have shown that children who are not chronically malnourished are 33% more likely to escape poverty in adulthood. And those who attend preschool will get better learning outcomes in their future schooling.

Unfortunately, despite progress made over the past 25 years, many children are still far from reaching their full development potential. In Morocco, only 55% of pre-school children are enrolled in school, and the quality of pre-school education varies greatly from one school to another. In rural areas, another 20% of children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition.

How then can we achieve a better and more prosperous world, where everyone can reach their full potential?

No country can truly prosper without sustained investments in its people. And these should start from the first moments of life. A child who gets the health care, nutrition, affection, and education that she/he needs will reap the benefits for life. And this is essential for the future of work: healthy people are more productive, and appropriate and quality education better prepares young people for the jobs of tomorrow.

Recognizing this challenge, Morocco is giving increasing priority to early childhood development. The country is implementing programs aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality in rural and remote areas, improving child nutrition, and increasing access to quality pre-school education, especially in rural areas, so that children can acquire the skills they need for the world of tomorrow. These will be the key challenges addressed during the upcoming first forum of the National Human Development Conference on September 19. Held in Skhirat near Rabat, the conference organized in the context of the National Initiative for Human Development will be held under the Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. The discussion will focus on the theme "Developing Early Childhood, a Commitment to the Future" and how to prepare future generations through coordinated investments in health, nutrition, early stimulation, and early childhood education.

Join us for a lively discussion on September 19 that will bring together members of public and private sectors, civil society, and development partners such as the World Bank and UNICEF, live streamed at www.indh.ma.

Follow the Twitter feed on @worldbankmena.

Authors

Isabelle Poupaert

Communications Assistant

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