Morocco: Floods Emergency Appeal No. MDRMA001 Operations Update No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published


GLIDE No. FF-2008-000202-MAR

Period covered by this Ops Update: 7 November to 20 December, 2008;

Appeal target: CHF 1,618,182 (USD 1,413,260 or EUR 1,108,344);

Appeal coverage: 7%;

Appeal history:

- This Emergency Appeal was launched on 7 December 2008 for CHF 1,618,182 (USD 1,413,260 or EUR 1,108,344) for six months to assist 10,000 beneficiaries.

- The coverage of the Appeal remains very low. Soft pledges and applications to governmental funding were processed from some National Societies and are still to be confirmed. In case of rejection of these applications, the budget may have to be revised.


Morocco has been affected by torrential rains since early October, causing 40 deaths and hundreds of homeless being accommodated in temporary shelters or at relatives' homes in 16 provinces of the country.

The Moroccan Red Crescent (Moroccan RC) has been very active, providing 6,000 people with food, blankets, kitchen utensils and clothing. More than 200 National Society volunteers and staff participated in the rescue operations and evacuations, and provided first aid and psycho-social support to the families affected by the disaster. These relief items were provided from the Moroccan RC stocks and the Red Crescent has demonstrated the efficiency of having well-trained volunteers and pre-positioned emergency stocks.

As predicted, the weather did not improve in Morocco and rains continued to affect several regions in November. Since the beginning of December, some important snow falls, coupled with an unprecedented cold wave, have been recorded. Moroccan authorities are preparing to handle cold fronts in mountainous regions over 1,500 metres above sea level. A comprehensive plan to deal with the effects of frigid temperatures and snowfalls is targeted at 400,000 people and around 1,000 villages across 19 provinces. The Moroccan RC is on stand-by, reassessing its reserves and stocks, planning for dispatching the relief items in key strategic areas, and preparing its volunteers locally for action. Contacts are kept with local authorities, both at central and local level.

The funds received from British Red Cross, United Arab Emirates Red Crescent, Libyan Red Crescent and Finnish Red Cross are used to procure additional relief items to continue the distribution to affected families and to refurbish the depleted stocks in the regions at risk in order to be better prepared for foreseen crises or emergencies in this coming winter period.

The situation

Torrential rains have hit several cities in the Kingdom of Morocco since early October, causing significant casualties (40 deaths and hundreds of homeless) and material damage. Considerable live stocks have been lost, which has had 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 indicated that Morocco would continue to experience abovenormal precipitation and since the beginning of December some important snow falls and cold wave have been recorded.

The Moroccan RC has continued to support the affected families through managing local donations and distributing relief items from its own stocks. As a result of several needs assessments made by Moroccan RC branch directors and volunteers during October and the close monitoring by all key players, the National Society managed to organize the transport and distribution of emergency relief. Pre-positioned stocks were mobilized from the Skhirat central warehouse, regional warehouses of Oujda and Al-Hoceima, and provincial warehouses in Meknes, Marrakech and Agadir. Moroccan RC volunteers initially distributed food and non-food items (food parcels, blankets, clothing and kitchen sets) to over 1,200 families.