By Tony Morain, Direct Relief
Direct Relief [Tuesday] announced an initial commitment of $100,000 to support search and rescue efforts following the deadly earthquake that shook areas of Morocco last week. More than 2,900 people have died as a result of the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that reverberated through the country on Sept. 8, and more than 5,500 have been injured, according to a statement Tuesday from Morocco’s Interior Ministry.
The emergency operating grant of $100,000 will support Bomberos Unidos Sin Fronteras (United Firefighters without Borders), an organization based in Spain that is conducting search and rescue efforts in Morocco at the request of the Moroccan government.
Their in-country team, which includes firefighters, canine units, and emergency health professionals, is conducting search and rescue activities in Amizmiz, approximately 35 miles south of Marrakesh, where people are still being rescued from damaged and collapsed buildings.
Morocco is accepting specific forms of foreign assistance from countries including Britain, Qatar, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. Many countries, including the United States, have offers of support pending; however, Morocco has not requested broader international assistance at this time.
Direct Relief has also offered its available medical inventory to health officials in Morocco, including the Ministry of Public Health, and is prepared to deploy needed items based on specific requests.
In the days immediately following an earthquake of this magnitude, the priority is to bolster the availability of medical items needed to treat a range of traumatic injuries caused by falling debris, crush injuries, fractures, lacerations and search and rescue activities. A continued flow of primary care items to help keep people with chronic health conditions will also be necessary, especially while local resources are reallocated for emergency response.
While disaster response operations require the rapid mobilization of resources, help must be of the right type. To ensure the most efficient use of resources, avoid duplication of efforts, and prevent logistical bottlenecks, Direct Relief’s efforts are always in direct response to specific requests from local healthcare providers and coordinated with all appropriate organizations and agencies.
Direct Relief will continue to track the situation closely and respond to requests for support as needs arise in the coming days and months.
Learn more at DirectRelief.org