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Morocco Raises $200M to Support Recovery From Earthquake

More than $195 million has been raised in contributions to a special fund set up after the September 8 earthquake that hit Morocco’s Marrakech-Safi region, killing more than 2,900 with over 5,000 more injured. The initial contributions include King Mohammed VI’s personal pledge of one billion Moroccan dirhams (equivalent to $97 million) and another billion dirhams donated by the country’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib.

The Moroccan government has also announced that ministers, deputy ministers as well as commissioners will donate one month’s salary in support to relief efforts for tens of thousands of people in need. Other public servants will contribute a day’s wage for each of the next three months. Affected families will receive about $3,000 each. The families with partially damaged houses will receive up to $8,000 while those with completely destroyed houses will get about $14,000.

Morocco’s private sector confederation (CGEM) also announced it would coordinate contributions from its thousands of members across the country. Currently, Morocco faces large-scale devastation and an overwhelming number of people who need emergency aid and shelter in the severely affected parts of Marrakech-Safi. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 300,000 people were affected.

The impact of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake can be seen in downtown Marrakech, about 70 kilometres from the epicentre. Some old buildings in the city have been cracked or partially damaged by the earthquake and locals said a number of city dwellers also lost their lives.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $1.3 billion loan to Morocco to strengthen the country’s climate resilience efforts, which could also support the recovery from the earthquake’s impact, local media reports say. The IMF and the World Bank will hold their jointly organised annual meetings in Marrakech city in October.

Following the earthquake, the two institutions assessed its impact and are expected to announce the final decision about holding the meetings there. The Moroccan government wants the meetings to go ahead because neither the meetings’ venue nor hotels in Marrakech were affected by the earthquake.