DEC still assessing whether to launch Morocco earthquake appeal

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is still assessing whether to launch a national appeal in the UK to support communities impacted by the earthquake in Morocco last week.

More than 2,000 people are reported dead and many more are left injured or have lost their homes in the region.

The epicentre of Friday 8 September’s earthquake was in the Atlas Mountains, 70km south of Marrakech with many of the affected communities living in rural mountainous areas.

If it is turned down for a national appeal, it would become the third recent humanitarian crisis in Africa to be rejected for a nationwide fundraising campaign by the DEC.

The DEC has said it is “closely monitoring the situation in Morocco” and assessing it against its criteria for launching a nationwide appeal in the UK for support.

Criteria includes whether the disaster needs swift humanitarian assistance, that DEC member charities can provide support and that a public appeal would be successful.

Current appeals to support disaster hit regions include DEC’s Turkey and Syria Earthquake campaign and appeals to support those impacted by floods in Pakistan and war in Ukraine.

However, the DEC found that the conflict in Sudan from mid-April, which has seen hundred of thousands of people displaced and widespread food, water and utilities shortages, does not currently meet the coalition’s criteria for a UK wide appeal, although three of its members Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief and World Vision are running campaigns. This crisis is being monitored by the DEC.

Drought and humanitarian crisis, due to four successive failed rainy seasons, in East Africa also has not currently met the criteria for a national appeal “although we continue to monitor it closely”, said DEC. The World Food Programme estimates 89m people are facing food insecurity and 16 million children, pregnant women and mothers of babies are now malnourished in East Africa. A dozen of DEC’s charities, including ActionAid, Oxfam and World Vision are running appeals to support those in the region.

Morocco earthquake charity appeals

DEC points out that while it assesses whether it will launch a nationwide plea for help, a number of its member charities are currently running appeals to support their rapid assessments and to mobilise teams to help Earthquake hit communities.

Islamic Relief has launched a £10m emergency appeal to support survivors, prioritising food, shelter and healthcare.

“Homes and other buildings have collapsed, including in the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site in the historic city of Marrakech,” said the charity.

“Aftershocks have left families too frightened to seek shelter, with exhausted survivors forced to sleep in the streets.”

Action Aid is supporting impacted communities working with local partners in the region having been present in Morocco for more than two decades.

“We are concerned with the devastating impact of the earthquake especially for women and girls who suffer the most during humanitarian emergencies,” said Action Aid international humanitarian director Sara Almer. “

The urgent need will be to provide shelter, food, water, medical aid, and supplies for the affected communities as well as psychosocial support.”

British Red Cross is calling for donations to support efforts by the local Moroccan Red Crescent to provide first aid and support to those injured.

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

CARE International’s team is in Morocco working with partners to “assess immediate needs so we can provide the best response possible”.

It added “Our priority is to provide meals, safe water supply, emergency shelter and medical support to families that have been impacted by the earthquake. The people of Morocco urgently need your help.”

Oxfam has said it urgently needs donations to help communities in the worst affected areas of Morocco. Its teams have been working since Friday “to assess the situation and define the actions to be carried out in the coming days, weeks and months”.

The DEC is an umbrella group of 15 UK charities to coordinate appeals for emergency aid.

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