It’s been over a week since the deadly 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the isolated Atlas Mountains in Morocco. More than 3,000 people have died and many thousands are injured. Hundreds of Moroccan Red Crescent disaster volunteers are in the affected provinces, supporting the hundreds of thousands of survivors who have lost everything.
The likelihood of finding additional survivors is slim and Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers are focused on helping survivors. They are providing drinking water, shelter, blankets, and mattresses, first aid and psychosocial support.
Some remote villages in the mountains remain without aid, accessible only by motorbike or donkey. Given the deteriorating conditions of roads, it is a race against time to ensure these communities receive support before the onset of rains, which may make them even more inaccessible. Items such as drinking water, shelter, blankets and mattresses are critical now as temperatures will soon drop in the mountains and thousands of families are living in makeshift structures.
Emerging needs include solar powered lighting for areas where it will take weeks to restore electricity and fire extinguishers for communities residing in temporary shelters and/or tents. With colder weather approaching, people will start cooking inside and using gas heaters to warm-up, increasing the risk of fire.
Hundreds of Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers were on the ground immediately after the quake and are working closely with the local authorities to help ensure people get the help they need. Having these volunteers on the ground is an invaluable asset. They know where each village is located and are working with the local authorities to ensure that the response is as fast and efficient as possible.
The International Foundation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is working hard to support the national Moroccan Red Crescent Society. Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from around the world have also reached out to provide assistance.
The IFRC approved one million Swiss francs from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to support the Moroccan Red Crescent relief efforts and has issued an appeal for 100 million Swiss francs. The American Red Cross has deployed a disaster response specialist to provide managerial support to the operation and is coordinating with its global Red Cross and Red Crescent partners on ways it can assist in the response.
Can I Volunteer or Donate Goods?
In countries around the world, Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations have their own staff and volunteers who are trained to respond to large-scale disaster operations. The American Red Cross sends highly specialized and experienced professionals with technical skills and expertise abroad only after the Red Cross or Red Crescent team requests assistance. Those not already on the Red Cross’s international disaster roster will not have the opportunity to deploy at this time. We encourage you to connect with your local Red Cross chapter for future opportunities or to visit redcross.org/volunteer for more information.
While we are grateful for the outpouring of support, it’s important to know that neither the American Red Cross nor our global Red Cross partners are accepting the donation of in-kind goods such as food, clothing, blankets, or toys at this time. These items can be difficult to manage on the ground and divert resources from our mission. Other charitable organizations are better suited to manage such donations.
How to Find a Missing Loved One
If you are trying to locate or get in touch with a U.S. citizen, please contact the U.S. Department of State Overseas Citizens Services Office online or call 05-37-63-72-00 (dialing from Morocco) or +212-537-63-72-00 (dialing from outside Morocco) or email ACSCasablanca@state.gov. Our Reconnecting Families Service is temporarily suspended in Morocco. Please be patient as the Reconnecting Families team waits until the impact areas stabilize. Please call the helpline at 1-888-782-9441 for updates.
At this time, the American Red Cross is not shipping blood products to Morocco. The American Red Cross does not ship blood products outside the U.S. without a specific request from the U.S. Department of State, from the United Nations, or unless we have a request from affected Red Cross or Red Crescent societies abroad.
How can I learn more about the global Red Cross response?
More information about the global response can be found here.