Morocco: Flash floods Appeal No. 32/2002 Operations Update No. 01

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Launched on 28 November 2002 for 580,000 for 3 months for 20,000 beneficiaries. Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 40, 000
Period covered: 28/11- 04/12


Appeal coverage: 11.9%
Outstanding needs: CHF 510,961

Summary: The Moroccan Red Crescent responded promptly to the flash floods disaster and subsequent international Red Cross Red Crescent support has enabled this emergency operation to continue effective support to people affected. However, stronger donor engagement is needed for impact to be maintained.

Operational Developments

The heavy rains reported in Morocco on 17 November killed 63 people in 24 hours. Another 26 are missing. Some 100 Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers were immediately mobilised to help evacuate families and begin cleaning thick mud out of homes. According to the authorities, 100,000 people may be affected by the floods. Most victims died when their houses, built in the river beds, were swept away. The heaviest casualties were in the 4 regions (wilaya) of Settat, Skhirat-Temara, Mohammedia and Kenitra; where flash floods caused rivers to burst destroying villages (douar), damaging houses and schools, killing hundreds of cattle and causing extensive damage to crops and infrastructure.

A Federation Delegate arrived in Morocco on the 28 November to assist the Moroccan Red Crescent to organise an assessment and identify emergency needs. The Federation's Secretariat has been monitoring the situation and maintaining daily contacts with the Moroccan Red Crescent. According to the preliminary information received from the Moroccan Red Crescent, the National Society planned to provide emergency relief, food and non-food, to 20,000 beneficiaries of the most affected population. Children were proposed to be provided with school items.

Local authorities are in charge of collecting data on the affected population and provision of the official figures. Therefore, the Moroccan Red Crescent have had to wait for official figures before distributing food parcels.


Field visits were organised by the Moroccan Red Crescent (MRC) to the affected wilayat. Representatives of the National Society and the Federation met with the walis (Prefet) and the Governors to better assess the humanitarian needs and to co-ordinate the relief operation.

In the wilayats of Settat and Kenitra, respectively the Governor and the Wali expressed interest in Disaster Preparedness programs and have shown an interest in participating in the vulnerability capacity assessment (VCA) process that will start with the MRC end of January 2003. Visits and interviews of the Federation Delegate have been reported on the National TV News.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

More than 100 volunteers including 50 trained first aiders, were mobilised from the first hour of the disaster and are still at the forefront of the relief efforts. From day one, the MRC volunteers helped to evacuate families and to clean thick mud out of homes. They were involved in distributing food parcels and relief items such as blankets and tents which were available from the MRC own small emergency preparedness stock.

The International Federation immediately allocated CHF 40.000 from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) which has allowed the Moroccan Red Crescent to meet the most acute emergency needs of the affected population.

From the flood's onset, the Moroccan Red Crescent has been receiving support from a number of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies.

Objectives, activities and results

The planned emergency relief operation aims to provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable. During the first phase, and for an estimated three months, basic relief items will be distributed to 5,000 families in the most affected regions of Settat, Mohammedia, Skhirat-Temara and Kenitra.

Temporary statistics of beneficiaries (03/12/2002)
5,400 estimate

Health and care

Although the situation does not indicate signs of epidemic, the health authorities are on alert

Objective 1

To provide basic health care to the affected population through the establishment and maintenance of the health posts. While the authorities take care of the general health situation, the MRC intends to open health posts for basic care, counselling and psychological support in the areas of temporary shelter. This activity is part of the National Society's co-operation with the Ministry of Health and is co-ordinated by the health commission of the Moroccan Red Crescent.

Objective 2

To run awareness programs on basic hygiene and health care. In urban areas, Red Crescent volunteers have started to carry out an awareness campaign among the affected population. The volunteers are working in close co-operation with the Ministry of Health.

Water and sanitation

Objective 1

To provide drinking water and clean flooded areas and homes. The MRC local branch volunteers have from day one started cleaning operations to help the people remove destroyed belongings. Some tools will be purchased such as shovel, picks, wheel barrel, gloves. The MRC will provide safe water to 5,000 families by distributing buckets and water purification tablets.

Relief distribution of food and basic non-food items

Objective 1

The MRC will distribute food to the most vulnerable of the affected population. The MRC has started to purchase and distribute basic food items. The Federation Secretariat has released a Disaster Emergency Fund amount of CHF 40,000 to support local procurement and distribution of food parcels. It was crucial to ensure that all families had enough food.

Food parcel
Qty for Family 1 to 3 members
Qty for Family 4 to +
Wheat Flour
25 kg
50 kg
5 L
10 L
5 kg
10 kg
lh kg
1 kg
3 kg
5 kg
1 kg
2 kg
1 packet
2 packets

First distributions took place on the 04/12 in Settat for 859 families, in Kenitra for 100 families, in Skhirat for 180 families. In Mohammedia, the distribution is planned to take place on the 10/12 for 434 families

Objective 2

The MRC will provide children with items for school. After assessment being conducted by the MRC, some items will be purchased and distributed to children who have had their books, pencils and other items lost or damaged by the flood.


The "Foundation Mohamed V for solidarity" together with the civil protection have provided the affected population with tents. Still there is an urgent need for tents to provide a larger number of beneficiaries who are sharing the available shelters in difficult conditions.

Objective 1

To provide temporary shelter for the homeless. The MRC is expecting tents and tarpaulins to provide most vulnerable with more decent shelters.

Objective 2

Provide clothing to those most in need. Blankets and warm clothing, especially for children, are among the most acute needs. The harsh weather conditions as well as the deteriorated living conditions in tents and and other temporary shelter require urgent attention.

National Society Capacity Building

The National Nociety reacted immediately to the disaster and began an assessment of the most urgent needs in all affected areas. Volunteers of Red Crescent branches worked continuously. However, there will be a need to upgrade the local capacities as regards stocks and training of volunteers. These needs will be outlined in further updates.

Federation Delegation

It has been agreed with the National Society that a Federation delegate will be assigned to the affected areas and will monitor the distributions, ensure co-ordination and reporting on the operation and assessment of further needs. The level of the National Society capacity building will also be evaluated.

The above tasks will be implemented by the Federation's Programme Co-ordinator who is permanently assigned to the Algerian Red Crescent. The Co-ordinator's first mission to Morocco was completed on 5 December 2002. The follow-up mission starts on 10 December until 15 December 2002. During this second mission the Federation's Delegate is to assist the Moroccan Red Crescent in the establishment of the detailed plan of action to support the most vulnerable within the available resources.

The Federation's Programme Co-ordinator will be supported during his temporary assignment in Morocco by the Federation's technical infrastructure available through the MENA Regional Delegation (Amman, Jordan) and Sub-regional office for North Africa (Tunis).

Advocacy/Public Information

Two interviews of the Secretary General of the MRC and two interviews of the Federation delegate were broadcast on national television.

Outstanding needs

11,000 blankets
500 tents
4,000 tarpaulins
Chlorine tablets
Warm clothes and shoes
Mattresses on local procurement.
Jerry cans will be replaced by buckets locally purchased.
Scholar Items will be purchased on the local market

For further details please contact: Mr. Evgeni Parfenov, Senior Desk Officer, MENA Department, Phone : 4122 730 43 25 Fax: 4122 733 03 95; email:

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's web site.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

John Horekens
External Relations

Ali Said Ali
Middle East and North Africa Department

Annex 1

Morocco - floods
APPEAL No. 32/2002
30' 000
100' 000