2023 Morocco Earthquake

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.

Funds and Organizations to Support

Please note the following list is a compilation of nonprofit, NGO, and governmental resources by which leaders in the global aid community are educating themselves as the crisis evolves and through which they are directing general crisis response support or specific humanitarian aid. Unless identified otherwise, links lead to fundraising pages for each organization. This list is evolving. Please contact Jennifer Montone if you know of other helpful resources.

International NGOs

  • The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee reports deployment of disaster relief experts to the region and is supporting those affected “in partnership with the Jewish community of Morocco.”
  • CARE has operated in Morocco since 2008 and in Libya since 2021, and is providing meals, water, emergency shelter, and medical support to victims.
  • Doctors Without Borders has deployed teams of medical staff and equipment to areas in need in Morocco, providing medical care to families there. They were in the process of closing operations in Tripoli, but they do still provide care in other parts of the country.
  • Give Directly delivers cash to trusted partners in the affected areas, which complements other types of aid and allows families to make “urgent decisions quickly in response to their most immediate needs.” They do have programs in both Morocco and Libya.
  • Global Giving’s Morocco Earthquake Relief Fund, according to this US-based nonprofit agency that raises money for other nonprofits in areas of need, is raising money for victims. Funds will be used to provide food, water, and medicine to survivors, as well as to provide shelter and temporary housing, among other things. The fund will transition to recovery and rebuilding as needs evolve, per the organization. Global Giving also supports four nonprofits in Libya, and has opened a direct Flood Relief Fund as well.
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)  are accepting donations for the Moroccan Relief Appeal and now has made an appeal for the Libyan Flood victims as well. Funders should donate through their National Societies or directly to the International Red Federation of the Red Cross here. The Moroccan Relief Appeal by the IFRC and how funds will be directed, outlining needs, can be read here.
  • Islamic Relief USA, part of Islamic Relief Worldwide, is a faith-based nonprofit that donates locally in turn regardless of religion. They were active in Morocco and now have pledged $125,000 so far for Libya relief efforts.
  • The King Baudouin Foundation (KBFUS) is hosting this site for funding, the Morocco Earthquake Response Fund. The foundation is a member of Myriad, the alliance for borderless giving.
  • UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) is accepting donations for its work directly in Morocco focusing on children and families, and launched an appeal as well for the victims of the Libyan floods.
  • World Central Kitchen uses helicopters and off-road vehicles to reach hard-hit communities, providing sandwiches, fruit, and water to survivors and responders alike. Its helicopters are also used to ferry other emergency supplies into remote regions.

Local NGOs in Morocco

Trusted Go Fund Me Pages for Morocco

Educational Resources and Information Hubs

(Photo credit: AP)