Earthquake in Morocco: Updates from the Field

On Friday, September 8th, a powerful, 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco’s High Atlas mountain range, primarily affecting the city of Marrakech and surrounding areas. The earthquake has resulted in over 2,900 people killed, an additional 5,600 injured, and widespread structural damage, making it Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in decades.

While dozens of countries have extended aid, the Moroccan government has been slow to permit international assistance and foreign medical teams to enter the nation. Search-and-rescue teams are gradually making their way into the disaster-stricken region to rescue those trapped beneath debris, although certain areas remain inaccessible. Almost six days after the earthquake, many in the affected areas still lack electricity and running water. Numerous Moroccan citizens have taken it upon themselves to coordinate spontaneous relief missions, including trucks stocked with blankets, food, and water.

Many grant-eligible organizations within CAF America’s network have rapidly mobilized and answered the call for help. Below we share some of the stories of the impact already being made in Morocco through the work of these organizations.


Organizations Responding to the Earthquake in Morocco


Airlink is responding by supporting the mobilization, transport, and logistics needs of NGOs who have an invitation from either the Moroccan government or a local organization, such as a country office or long-term partner. The Airlink team is already providing logistics and transportation support for their NGO partners to send shipments and skilled responders (from the US, Israel, Canada, the UK, and Germany so far) to where NGOs have been requested by the government of Morocco or where they have programmatic relationships existing within Morocco.

CADENA Internacional

CADENA Internacional is coordinating an intervention to deliver solar lamps and water filters, in addition to carrying out an assessment of the damage to determine the next steps.

CARE International

CARE is providing meals, safe water supply, emergency shelter, and medical support to families that have been impacted by the earthquake. They are continuing to adapt their response strategy to ensure timely, culturally appropriate, and gender-sensitive assistance to families in need. They are also focusing on mental health care for the earthquake-affected families.

CARE has been operating in Morocco since 2008 and works extensively in Al Haouz, one of the cities that was most impacted by the earthquake. At the regional level they also are coordinating with the Wilaya (regional authority) and the Red Crescent, who is overseeing the crisis unit coordinating emergency evacuations.

High Atlas Foundation

High Atlas Foundation is currently distributing $60,000 of food and other essential materials each day, benefitting over a thousand rural families in the provinces of Al Haouz, Ouarzazate, and Taroudant. The organization has an extensive network among affected communities and will soon be able to reach Azilal and Chichaoua as well.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The Moroccan Red Crescent (MRCS) teams were on the ground immediately and are coordinating closely with the IFRC and local authorities to continue to assess the situation, support in the search and rescue operation, and provide help to affected people. They are providing first aid, psychosocial support, and helping transport the injured to hospitals.

How You Can Help

  1. Support recovery work happening now. CAF America has set up a Morocco Earthquake Relief Fund that will support work at eligible organizations providing humanitarian relief and response efforts in Morocco. You can also make a gift directly to any of the organizations on our resources page (including those highlighted above).
  2. Sustain long-term recovery. Consider when and where your giving can make the most impact—supporting local organizations that are a part of the communities they serve, perhaps after immediate needs are addressed long-term challenges remain (like rebuilding infrastructure, education, and so forth), can be the key to helping a community recover and once again become self-sufficient.

As an organization committed to enabling cross-border charitable giving, CAF America stands ready to assist US donors wanting to support the ongoing relief efforts. Please reach out to us if there is anything we can do to assist you: or 202-793-2232.

About the Author

  • Margot Cunningham

    Margot Cunningham serves as CAF America’s Officer of Marketing and Communications. Her responsibilities include planning, creating, and implementing marketing and communications strategies, with a focus on building awareness of our mission and engaging prospects and donors with long-form content and event opportunities.

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