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Moroccan Lawmaker Raises Alarm Over Escalating Suicide Rates in Northern Region

Monday 10 June 2024 - 11:50
Moroccan Lawmaker Raises Alarm Over Escalating Suicide Rates in Northern Region

In a poignant address, Moroccan Member of Parliament Ikram El Hannaoui has called for immediate action to confront the distressing surge in suicide cases plaguing the northern region of Taounate. Her plea highlights the urgency of tackling this grave societal issue that has long cast a somber pall over the area.

Representing the Progressive and Socialist Party, El Hannaoui voiced her concerns during an interview with the prominent Moroccan television channel 2M. She lamented that despite Taounate's classification as a region grappling with a burgeoning suicide crisis, the gravity of the situation has been met with inadequate attention and action.

El Hannaoui's candid assessment underscored the multifaceted nature of the problem, citing psychological, social, and economic factors as contributing to this disturbing phenomenon. She called for the implementation of comprehensive socioeconomic and cultural programs to address the complex web of issues fueling this tragic trend.

The sobering statistics paint a grim picture, with 2M reporting four recent suicide incidents in the span of a single week, the latest involving a man in his forties. This distressing reality reflects a broader crisis engulfing northern Morocco, where numerous reports have sounded the alarm over the escalating number of suicide cases in recent years.

In 2019, the Human Rights Observatory of the North (ONDH) highlighted the harrowing situation in the Chefchaoun province, documenting 48 suicide cases since the start of 2018, with 10 reported instances in 2019 alone. The World Health Organization's 2016 World Suicide Report further corroborated Morocco's grim standing, ranking the nation among the highest in the North African region for suicide rates, with 3.6 female suicide deaths per 100,000 individuals – the highest rate for women in the region.

With the nation reeling from the sobering statistic of 1,014 suicides in 2016, including 613 women, El Hannaoui's plea underscores the pressing need for a coordinated, multi-pronged approach to stem the tide of this pervasive crisis. Her call echoes the collective aspiration for a future where every life is cherished and no soul is forsaken to the depths of despair.

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