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Charities launch emergency appeals in reponse to Moroccan earthquake

Melanie May | 11 September 2023 | News

A view over Marrakech, Morocco. By Hicham ELAARKOUBI on Pixabay.
Marrakech, pre-earthquake

Following Friday’s earthquake in Morocco, a number of charities in the UK have launched emergency appeals, including Islamic Relief, British Red Cross, and ActionAid UK.

So far, more than 2000 people are known to have been killed with thousands injured following the magnitude 6.8 earthquake, which struck Morocco on Friday 8 September. The deadliest earthquake in the country in 60 years, it hit Marrakech, as well as the provinces of Al-Haouz and Taroudant.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Moroccan Red Crescent (MRCS) teams were on the ground immediately, coordinating with the IFRC and local authorities to assess the situation, support in the search and rescue operation and provide help to affected people. This includes first aid, psychosocial support and helping transport the injured to hospitals.

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It has released 1 million Swiss francs from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support Moroccan Red Crescent activity on the ground, with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from Africa, MENA and Europe also reaching out to provide assistance, with British Red Cross launching an appeal on Saturday.

Islamic Relief has launched a £10 million emergency appeal to provide aid. It is assessing the most critical needs and identifying local humanitarian organisations to work with.

Oxfam is also asking people to donate, with its teams currently assessing the situation in Morocco and reaching out to partners to see how it can best support them.

Human Appeal is providing immediate aid to those affected by the earthquake, working with its local partners there, and asking for donations to provide emergency kits that include food, clean water, medical aid, and basic essentials.

Care International was already working in Al Haouz, and its team is in the area and working with partners to assess immediate needs. With its priority being to provide meals, safe water supply, emergency shelter and medical support to families impacted, it has launched an emergency appeal.

ActionAid, which has been present in Morocco for more than 20 years, and is working alongside local partners to coordinate a response in some of the worst-affected areas, has also launched an appeal.

Sara Almer, the Humanitarian Director at ActionAid International said: 

“The aftermath of an earthquake poses particular risks for women and girls, who are living outside and need safe spaces to shelter.  Whether during the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015 or in Turkey and Syria earlier this year, disasters like this are inherently gendered.  The urgent need will be to provide shelter, food, water, medical aid, and supplies for the affected communities as well as mental health support.”

The Charitable Travel Foundation is also raising funds through an emergency appeal. It has partnered with a Moroccan NGO and is collaborating to get aid to Asni in the High Atlas Mountains, which has been badly affected.

In the first days following the earthquake, other charities to have launched appeals include: International Aid Charity, Abdullah Aid, Penny Appeal, One Ummah.  

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