Morocco: Earthquake Appeal No. 06/04 Final Report


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

Period covered: 24 February 2004 to 31 December, 2005

Final appeal coverage: 97%.

Appeal history:

- Launched on 24 February 2004 for CHF 2,832,000 (USD 2,282,852 or EUR 1,799,553) for an initial period of 6 months to assist 30,000 beneficiaries.

- Given the broad financing of this Appeal, the initial plan of action that was based on the emergency phase was revised to reflect the amount of contributions received. The new plan of action included a post-emergency phase and a rehabilitation phase extending the operation another 16 months; Final Report was therefore due by the end of March, 2006. The remaining funds of CHF 228,727 are expected to be transferred in three months time to the Regional Office programmes, with an earmarking for activities in Morocco, provided that no donor will request the return of their contribution unused in this operation.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 75,000. This amount was subsequently reimbursed.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.


An earthquake of a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struck northeastern Morocco on 24 February 2004. The epicentre was situated in the Strait of Gibraltar, approximately 15 km west of the port city of Al Hoceima. The impact was felt throughout the region by 500,000 inhabitants. The toll stood at more than 570 dead, with as many injured, and thousands of people lost their homes.

The Moroccan Red Crescent (MRC) was one of the first organizations to respond to the disaster. Responding to its request, the International Federation launched a preliminary emergency appeal and deployed a five-member Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) reinforced by a National Society liaison agent, health and information delegates from the Federation Secretariat in Geneva and a senior regional disaster management officier from the Federation's Regional Office for North Africa in Tunis.

National Societies responded favorably to the appeal launched by the Federation. In addition to allocated funds, representatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss Red Cross made a valuable contribut ion: three all-terrain vehicles with their drivers. ECHO earmarked EUR 500,000 for the operation to be allocated by the National Societies of France, Spain and Germany. The Spanish government deployed an emergency medical team (SAMUR), a water and sanitation unit and relief supplies. The Norwegian Red Cross supplied two mobile warehouses and offered the services of a technician to assemble them. The National Societies of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates were present on the ground.

The national and international media played a crucial role in drawing global attention to the disaster and it was due in part to them that the MRC received the necessary aid.

Neighbouring populations also contributed by acting on the ground and sending donations in kind such as food and clothing to the disaster areas. NGOs also took part by monitoring and distributing aid collected abroad.

During the emergency phase, with the support of the FACT and the emergency response unit (ERU) of the Spanish and French Red Cross Societies specialized in logistics, the MRC addressed the most pressing challenges in the hardest-hit communities. Three teams composed of various parties - Civil Defence, the army, Interior Ministry, Health Ministry and others - were mobilized in connection with the so-called ORSEC plan, or national disaster response plan. They carried out a number of relief operations in the region: tracing, rescue and other activities falling under their respective responsibilities.

In total, 6,260 tents were distributed to the earthquake victims or set up in the Imzouren tent camp. Other essential needs were met through the distribution of 42, 546 blankets, 1,585 kitchen sets, 15,034 jerry cans, 6,896 tarpaulins and 801 bales of clothing and aid in the form of food, water and medicines in the 8 sectors identified in the FACT/MRC assessment as being the most seriously affected. Top priorities included restoring social services and infrastructures, in particular, schools, health dispensaries, hospitals and social centres.

In late March 2004, the Moroccan Red Crescent completed the emergency phase of the operation launched in response to the Al Hoceima earthquake. Under an agreement signed on 11 March 2004 with the Moroccan Government, the remainder of donations in kind, which for the most part had not been requested in the Appeal, were handed over to the Regional Assistance Committee, the government body in charge of coordinating assistance for the disaster victims. During the same period, the MRC concluded an agreement with the authorities to transfer to them the responsibilities of managing the tent camp of Imzouren where some 1,500 people were sheltered.

A swift, generous response from the stakeholders enabled the MRC to act quickly during the em ergency phase and thus meet the needs of the most vulnerable persons, such as shelter and essential relief and personal hygiene items. After the emergency phase, the MRC undertook recovery, reconstruction and capacity-building operations at the local and national levels during the next two phases.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Morocco: B. Bensaoud, Secretary General, Moroccan Red Crescent, Tel. +212 37 65 14 9; Fax: + 212 37 65 32 8; e-mail:

In Tunis (Regional Office for North Africa): Anne E. L eclerc, Head of Delegation, Tel: +216 71 86 24 85; Fax: +216 71 86 29 71; e-mail:

In Geneva: Evgeni Parfeov, Regional Officer, MENA Department, Tel: +41 22 730 43 25; Fax: +41 22 733 03 95; e-mail:

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

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