FCDO Minister of State, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has announced up to £1.45 million to support Moroccan-led recovery following the devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Marrakech–Safi region on 8 September.
The new funding will help address both immediate needs and support longer-term development in the communities most affected, in line with Morocco’s 5-year recovery plan.
In addition to support to health services and shelter, this will expand collaboration with farmers and cooperatives to bring high quality local agricultural products to market, whilst protecting local biodiversity.
Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:
Seeing first-hand how the Moroccan people have got back on their feet following the devastating earthquake last month, I’m full of admiration for their strength and resilience.
The UK is always willing to help our friends in need and the additional £1.45million announced today will help support Moroccans as they rebuild their lives.
Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth said:
The UK is committed to supporting Morocco following the devastating earthquake last month and this new funding will help the Moroccan–led recovery.
The UK-Morocco partnership is thriving and we stand ready to provide further support.
Today’s announcement comes in the week that Marrakech hosts the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, with Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell and Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt both attending.
As part of his bilateral visit programme today, Minister Mitchell will meet UK and other NGOs supporting the Moroccan response including representatives from Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), a Lead Partner on Defra’s Darwin Initiative challenge fund.
GDF, in partnership with Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA), were already working in coordination with local authorities to support sustainable agriculture in the region. They will continue and expand this longstanding partnership, working with farmers and cooperatives in the affected areas to bring high quality local agricultural products to market, whilst conserving local biodiversity and enabling communities recover from the earthquake.
The Chancellor will visit Le Trou Au Mur, a British-run restaurant in Marrakech’s Medina, to meet with the owner and other British business people who have contributed to the earthquake relief effort.
The UK’s International Search and Rescue Team (UK-ISAR) were deployed immediately after the earthquake last month and supported the Moroccan’s authorities’ search and rescue efforts in remote areas of the Atlas Mountains, near the epicentre of the earthquake. The team provided a range of services, from searching for survivors among the rubble to helping vulnerable people to leave buildings at risk of collapse.
In addition to the ISAR team, the UK deployed the UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) which assessed immediate and longer term needs to inform the response.