Morocco Ranks 85 in Prosperity Index, First in North Africa

Rabat – Morocco was ranked 85th in the latest edition of the prosperity index, an annual ranking developed by the Legatum institute, which measures prosperity in 142 countries. The kingdom lost three places in comparison to last year’s index.The index used a set of ‘traditional criteria’ that are the most commonly used and widely accepted measures of national success, such as the size of a nation’s economy and GDP per capita.However, the authors of the study believe that these criteria alone are ‘too narrow to capture a country’s overall success’. Therefore, the index used a range of new factors described as ‘GDP and beyond’ including wellbeing, health, education, opportunity and personal freedoms among others.In terms of personal freedoms, Morocco was ranked 113th of the 142 countries surveyed. This is a major setback given the fact that the kingdom enjoyed a better ranking by the same index two years ago, moving from the 103rd position in 2012 to 94 in 2013. According to the Index, Morocco still suffers from problems related to bad governance. In this year’s rankings, the country has lost three positions in the governance category, moving from 69 in 2013 to 72 in 2014.However, Education and Health seem to be making progress although in a very slow pace. The vital sectors climbed one and two positions, respectively. They were ranked 106 and 76 in 2014 in comparison to 107 and 78 in 2013.Morocco was ranked in 5th position in the MENA region behind the United Arab Emirates (28th overall), Kuwait (36), Saudi Arabia (47) and Jordan (82).Despite this not-so-good overall performance, the kingdom managed somehow to be ranked better than its North African neighbors. It came ahead of Tunisia (92 overall), Algeria (97) and Egypt (116).The 2014 prosperity index ranked Norway as the most prosperous country in the world, while Central African Republic is the less prosperous one. read more

Outbreak of E coli infections persists in Europe – UN agency

6 June 2011The outbreak of E. coli infections in Germany and 11 other countries has continued to spread, with more than 2,260 cases in total, including 22 deaths, reported, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update on the situation. Many of those infected with the enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria have developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), which can be fatal, WHO said yesterday.As of yesterday, Germany has reported 1,536 cases of EHEC infection (without HUS), including six deaths, an increase of 108 from the previous day. The number of HUS cases rose by 54 over the previous day to 627, including 15 fatalities, according to WHO.Eleven other European countries – Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – reported a total of 31 HUS cases, including one death, and 71 cases of EHEC.In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had earlier reported two cases of HUS, both linked to the outbreak in outbreak in Europe through travel.WHO conformed last week that the current spread of E. coli infections in Europe is the result of a rare strain of the bacterium.EHEC is a severe strain of E. coli bacterium that is commonly found in the gut of animals, mainly ruminants. It produces toxins, known as Shigatoxins or verotoxins, which damage blood cells and the kidneys, according to WHO.Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea, which may be bloody. Fever and vomiting may also occur.Most patients recover within 10 days, although in a few cases, especially among young children and the elderly, the infection may lead to a life-threatening disease, such as HUS, which can lead to acute kidney failure, haemolytic anaemia and a low platelet count. read more