The Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 1,618,182 (USD 1,413,260 or EUR 1,108,344) in cash, kind, or services to support the Moroccan Red Crescent Society (Moroccan RC) to assist some 10,000 beneficiaries. This operation is expected to be implemented over 6 months, and will therefore be completed by 30 April, 2009; a Final Report will be made available by 30 July 2009 (three months after the end of the operation).
Summary: The torrential rains that have hit Morocco since early October have caused several casualties (30 deaths and hundreds of homeless families accommodated in temporary shelters or at their relatives' homes) and damage (destruction of more than 700 homes, roads, bridges, electric network, etc.). Adverse weather continues to hamper the operation and access is difficult. Heavy rains are expected to continue, particularly in northern Morocco (Tangier, Al Hoceima, Nador) until the end of the year.
The Moroccan RC is active in the affected regions through their local committees, and has mobilized teams, deployed volunteers, and provided first aid and psychological support to the affected population. Action has also focused on the search and rescue phase, in coordination with local and civil defence authorities. The Moroccan RC has been providing assistance since early October to more than 1,200 families (6,000 beneficiaries) in the most affected regions of Figuig, Boulmane, Errachidia, Fnideq, Imintanoute, Zayou, Oujda, Taza, Zagora, Marrakech, El Haouz, Essaouira, and Tangiers.
The Moroccan RC, through a successful disaster preparedness programme supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation), the Spanish Red Cross (International Federation/International Development of West African Red Cross (IDWARC) programme), the Netherlands Red Cross and the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent, was able to meet the needs of affected populations from the early hours of the disaster. This was made possible by the existence of relief stocks pre-positioned at the central and regional levels in four regional warehouses (Al Hoceima, Oujda, Marrakech, Agadir) and by the effective mobilization of neighbourhood committees, rapid deployment of intervention teams, efficient management of volunteers and strong coordination with other actors. The Moroccan RC deployed its stocks and ensured a rapid response, based on the initial assessments made in the field by teams of volunteers.
With the first phase of the emergency efficiently covered by the National Society, this Emergency Appeal responds to a direct request from the National Society, and is focused on a two phased approach. The first phase covering the replenishment of stocks, in order to be able to continue to provide immediate emergency response and basic relief and shelter items, health care and first aid, and safe water and hygiene promotion to the affected families. The second phase will cover preparedness and the capacity building of communities and the National Society to respond to future emergencies, including during the
forthcoming winter season. Preparation will be carried out through contingency plan development, rebuilding of pre-positioned basic relief supplies, and volunteer training. Relief stocks are and will be strategically located in the disaster prone regions and will be in place to respond to the predicted heavy rains, particularly in the north of the country.
Torrential rains have hit several cities in the Kingdom of Morocco since early October, causing significant casualties (30 deaths, with many missing, and hundreds of homeless) and material damage (the collapse of over 700 adobe houses, temporary interruption of traffic on roads (18 national, 20 regional roads and 12 provincial roads). Considerable live stocks have been lost, which will have an effect on the economy in that area.
These rains have far exceeded in some provinces the annual average recorded during the last fifty years. New climatic patterns are affecting the North Africa region, increasing the vulnerability of poor communities. The seasonal forecast for October to December 2008 (please see IRI map on the right) indicates that Morocco will continue to experience above-normal precipitation until the end of the year. Based on this information, it is expected that the risk of floods will remain high.
So far, 20,000 people are estimated to be affected by these floods in 16 provinces. Given the humanitarian challenges, active steps are underway to respond to and reduce the impact of disasters.
One of the lessons learnt from this particular disaster is the difficulty of accessing remote villages and beneficiaries to deliver needed support. The strategic pre-positioning of relief stocks in areas at risks is therefore vitally important to ensure a rapid response capacity. Increasing the community's resilience through the vulnerability capacity assessment (VCA) process, disaster risk reduction (DRR) awareness campaign and support to livelihoods and food security projects is also a vital element.