Thousands of Moroccans took part in protests in various parts of the country on Sunday to complain about rising prices for fuel and other essentials.
The North African kingdom is the latest in a long line of countries to show outrage from residents over high fuel prices, which are driving inflation across the globe.
The demonstrations in Morocco coincide with the 11th anniversary of the wave of protests known as the February 20 Movement, inspired by the pro-democracy uprisings of the Arab Spring in the region during 2011.
In the capital, Rabat, the protest was held in front of the parliament. Holding banners, protesters shouted anti-government slogans for failing to control the rampant price hike, which has driven more people into poverty.
Police officers were deployed around the site of the demonstration.
Smaller demonstrations were held in other cities of the country, where the protesters demanded an immediate intervention of the government to improve the purchasing power of the population.
The minister delegate in charge of the budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, stressed that the government has implemented multiple measures to lighten the burden on Moroccan families, but acknowledged that they remain “insufficient”.
The government attributed the rise in commodity prices to a combination of the post-pandemic global economic recovery and rising grain and hydrocarbon prices in international markets.
The country also suffers the consequences of its worst drought in several decades.
The national average rainfall in its rainy season is just 7.5 centimeters (3 inches) so far, or 64% less than a normal year, according to a statement from the royal palace. He added that 10 billion dirhams ($1 billion) have been earmarked to mitigate the impact of the drought on the agricultural sector and the wider economy.
The impact of high fuel prices and inflation is felt around the world, accumulating a financial burden on governments, businesses, and families. Countries are looking for solutions to high utility and food prices. For their part, farmers and supermarkets pass on the rising costs to consumers, many of whom face a cost-of-living crisis.