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RABAT: Morocco is to pay out some $206 million to help out truckers who staged a national strike over spiralling fuel costs spurred by the war in Ukraine, authorities and the media said Wednesday.

“With this support package, the government aims to help road transport workers by softening the impact of high fuel prices... caused by ongoing high prices globally,” the government said.

The package, reached after weeks of pressure including a nationwide strike by truckers demanding price controls, covers 180,000 vehicles, it said.

Morocco is heavily dependent on imports of fossil fuels and wheat, both of which have spiked in price following Russia’s month-old invasion of Ukraine.

The package is worth two billion dirhams, according to news site Medias24.

The aid will be available to transporters from early April, via an online portal, the government said.

Petrol prices at Moroccan pumps have reached new records, with a litre of unleaded hitting $1.46 on Wednesday.

On the world market, crude futures jumped more than four percent with Brent North Sea, the international benchmark, exceeding $120 per barrel.

Several Moroccan transport unions staged a five-day strike early this month to demand caps on prices and the profit margins of retailers, including market leader Afriquia which is owned by Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch.

Morocco subsidises flour and household gas but scrapped fuel subsidies following an earlier price hike in 2015.

Akhannouch’s government has also faced public pressure over price rises on other basic goods.

The central bank warned Tuesday that inflation would hit 4.7 percent this year, while growth would barely hit one percent.

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