In the wake of a catastrophic earthquake that struck on September 8, resulting in the tragic loss of over 2,900 lives, Morocco has unveiled an ambitious five-year plan for post-earthquake reconstruction, the royal palace said on 20 September.
The king Mohammed V has announced that a minimum of 120 billion Moroccan dirhams that is equivalent to $11.7 billion will be allocated to this comprehensive initiative, according to Aljazeera
The plan’s primary focus is to assist the 4.2 million individuals residing in the most severely impacted regions, which include Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Taroudant, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, and Azizlal.
This commitment was made following a meeting between King Mohammed VI and top government and military officials.
Central to this extensive endeavor is the task of providing new housing and improving infrastructure in a manner that promotes both social and economic progress in the earthquake-stricken areas.
The royal palace emphasized that the financial resources for this endeavor would be drawn from the national budget, international aid, and a dedicated fund established in response to the earthquake.
It is worth noting that currently, this fund has received approximately $700 million in contributions.
Additionally, the program includes the establishment of regional emergency hubs, each stocked with essential supplies such as tents, blankets, beds, medicines, and food provisions, to facilitate rapid response to future natural disasters.
Also, It’s important to note that the affected regions are among the most economically disadvantaged in Morocco, characterized by numerous remote villages with inadequate access to proper roads and public services.
Last week, the royal palace announced a plan to provide shelter and financial assistance to households affected by the earthquake. Specifically, 50,000 damaged houses will receive support, with each affected household receiving 30,000 Moroccan dirhams (equivalent to $3,000).
Furthermore, the government has pledged to provide 140,000 dirhams for rebuilding collapsed homes and 80,000 dirhams for repairing damaged ones.
Despite the devastation and urgent need for assistance, Moroccan authorities have faced criticism for their limited acceptance of foreign aid. To date, only search-and-rescue teams from the United Kingdom, Qatar, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates have been granted permission to operate on the ground by Moroccan officials, despite numerous offers of support from governments around the world.
Typically, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinates the international response to major disasters through its agencies, including the Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).