Rabat- Morocco’s National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) signed 15 agreements on Tuesday with the Council of the Oriental Region of Oujda, in the eastern city of Jerada to revive the socio-economic integration of youths in the region.The agreements seek to provide income opportunities for young people working in various sectors, such as agriculture and handicrafts, to employ and improve their socioeconomic status. Along with the Oriental council, INDH allocated a total of MAD 430,000 to help young people with small business projects and integrate them into the economy. Other donating entities have increased the project’s budget to MAD 150 million, which will support them for three years.Moroccan news outlet L’economiste informed that so far the council and INDH received a total of 1,600 applications from potential youth beneficiaries.In addition to the initiative, Jerada authorities launched the construction of a formwork factory which will create approximately 500 sustainable jobs and attract investments of approximately MAD 200 million.The initiatives are aligned with King Mohammed VI’s call for the government to give special attention to social disparities, and with Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Aziz Akhannouch’s program to improve the incomes and living standards of the Jerada population through job creation.Jerada was primarily a mining area until the government closed the mines in the late 1990s. However, the locals continued to live off of mining, illegally, until two brothers died in a coal pit accident in December 2017. The deaths lead to a series of protests in recent months decrying social disparity.