The High Atlas Mountain range earthquake that hit Morocco on September 8, 2023 was the most powerful earthquake in that region since records began in 1900. It is the second most deadly earthquake there since 1960, with the death toll near 3,000 and continuing to rise as remote villages slowly are being accessed. Just days later, Mediterranean cyclone Daniel’s torrential rains caused catastrophic flooding and damage to two dams in the city of Derna in Libya, killing more than 10,000 people with thousands more still missing. Entire towns were leveled in both countries, and the challenges facing responders are immense. In addition to immediate impact, the lack of food, shelter, health care, and other necessities, as well as the disruption of utilities and clean water, will create follow-on waves of hardship and life-threatening situations.
TPI’s Center for Global Philanthropy has created this list of resources funders can reference as they choose how to respond quickly and effectively. The blog post, Supporting Morocco: Heart, Head, and Hand Philanthropy, provides first-person perspective on how to think about making decisions when there are so many opportunities to be involved. In both countries, funders are recommended to give to organizations that are already doing work on the ground. In Morocco, the government has limited aid to that from four countries – Spain, Qatar, Britain, and the UAE – to keep coordination streamlined. Libya currently has two governments supported by different countries, which will hamper response as well. Patricia McIlreavy, CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, is encouraging funders to consider long-term, unrestricted giving to select organizations in Libya rather than rushing in given these changing conditions.
In the short term, without doubt, the decision to fund any governmental or non-government aid program in Morocco, or community-based organization (CBO) or an intermediary organization already operating in either country, is a necessary, valuable commitment. TPI does encourage funders concerned about both countries to learn more and support local organizations working with leaders who are already rising directly from the population of survivors – people who know in the moment what is most necessary, and our resource page will try to reflect that as the situations change over time.
Originally published September 14, 2023.