Major charities launch Morocco earthquake emergency fundraising appeals

11 Sep 2023 News

Several major charities have launched emergency appeals as the Morocco earthquake death toll passed 2,000 people.

ActionAid, British Red Cross, Care International, Islamic Relief and Oxfam have all appealed to donors to fund their response to the natural disaster.

All five are members of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which told Civil Society it is closely monitoring the situation and currently assessing the situation against its criteria for launching a joint appeal. 

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on 8 September, affecting the provinces and cities of Al Haouz, Marrakesh, Taroudant, Chichaoua, and Ouarzazate, killing more than 2,000 people and affected hundreds of thousands. 

ActionAid: ‘The earthquake poses particular risks for women and girls’

Kirsten Sutherland, humanitarian program coordinator at ActionAid Spain, said: “In just minutes, the lives of hundreds of thousands of people have been turned upside down. Many families have lost everything – their loved ones, their homes and their belongings. 

“Damage to infrastructure is hampering access to information and to affected communities, especially in remote areas. Our objective is to support those communities that have been most badly affected by the earthquake.” 
“ActionAid is working closely with our local partners to assess the situation, ascertain the emergency support and funding required and launch a response as soon as access is possible.” 
ActionAid has been present in Morocco for more than 20 years, working in collaboration with local partner organisations. 
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.”

Islamic Relief: £10m emergency appeal launched

Islamic Relief has launched a £10m emergency appeal to provide aid to survivors of the earthquake in Morocco.  
The charity says many of those who have died are in remote villages in the High Atlas mountains and the scale of the destruction there is still emerging. 
In response to the disaster, Islamic Relief is now assessing the most critical needs and identifying local humanitarian organisations who we can work with to deliver vital aid. 
The charity expects food, shelter and healthcare to be the most urgent needs.  
Homes and other buildings have collapsed, including in the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site in the historic city of Marrakech.

British Red Cross: Teams providing first aid 

British Red Cross has also launched an emergency appeal.

The local Moroccan Red Crescent is on the ground responding to the earthquake, including providing first aid to those injured and emotional support to people in shock.

Whilst the situation is still developing, there are immediate and severe needs for those affected, the charity said.

Care International: Teams already in Al Haouz

Care International reported it is already working in the epicentre of Al Haouz.

“Our incredibly dedicated team in Morocco is in the area and is working with partners to assess immediate needs so we can provide the best response possible,” a statement from the charity reads.

“Our priority is to provide meals, safe water supply, emergency shelter and medical support to families that have been impacted by the earthquake.”

Oxfam: Working with local partners 

Oxfam said its teams are currently assessing the situation in Morocco and reaching out to partners to see how it can best support them, and it will provide updates on any response as soon as possible.

The charity said it is estimated that at least 300,000 people will be directly affected and it is the country's deadliest earthquake in 60 years.

“Our local teams have been hard at work since Friday evening, in collaboration with our local partners, to assess the situation and define the actions to be carried out in the coming days, weeks and months,” it said.

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