Morocco

Morocco earmarks $297 million to rebuild quake-striken region

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AL-HOCEIMA, May 24 - Moroccan prime ministrer, Driss Jettou, said here Monday that the government has earmarked a 2.6 billion Dirham (297 $million) budget for the emergency plan to rehabilitate and develop quake-hit northeastern region.

The earthquake, measuring 6.5 degrees on the Richter scale, flattened entire villages killing over 600 people and injuring nearly one thousand.

Speaking at a meeting, attended by several officials, on the emergency program, which "was approved by HM king Mohammed VI", Jettou said the budget comprises important funds allocated by the government, private contributions to a bank account opened at Bank Al-Maghrib in the wake of the disaster and aid brought by brotherly and friendly countries.

Donations to account 101 totalled 238.4 million Dirhams (over $24 million), according to governor of Morocco's central bank, Abdellatif Jouahri.

"The number of contributors has exceeded one million. The funds have not been spent yet and the government will define allocation modalities, mainly in the framework of the emergency plan for Al Hoceima reconstruction," Jouahri had said last week.