Morocco floods: Red Crescent teams pursue emergency assistance as rains continue

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More than 200 Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers and staff continue to assist more than 6,000 people left homeless by torrential rains that have devastated 16 regions in the country since early October. The subsequent flooding has left at least 30 people dead, affected some 20,000, and destroyed homes, roads, water and sanitation systems, crops and livestock.

Since early October, the Red Crescent has been providing more than 6,000 people, housed in temporary shelters or with relatives and friends, with food, blankets, kitchen utensils and clothing. Volunteers and staff also participated in rescue operations and evacuations, and are providing first aid as well as psychological support.

To support the Moroccan Red Crescent operation over the coming months, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched an emergency appeal for 1.6 million Swiss francs (US$ 1.4 million/€ 1.1 million). These funds will finance the distribution of relief items, basic health care, water purification tablets for 10,000 people as well as the replenishment of Red Crescent emergency stocks distributed during the first phase of the operation.

"Weather forecasts are predicting above-normal rainfall until the end of the year, which means there will be more flooding. It is therefore absolutely vital that the Moroccan Red Crescent has pre-positioned stocks available to allow a continued prompt response for those most severely affected by these catastrophic floods," notes Anne E. Leclerc, Head of the Federation's regional office for North Africa, in Tunis.

"The Red Crescent has demonstrated the efficiency of having well-trained volunteers and pre-positioned emergency stocks. We must continue to build on this experience, and will also probably use some of the funding from the appeal to pursue training of volunteers and staff in disaster management, relief coordination and first aid," adds Ms. Leclerc.

The Moroccan Red Crescent is working in close collaboration with the authorities and will continue to monitor the situation, especially in terms of long-term needs of the affected population, such as loss of livelihoods.

For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

Marie-Françoise Borel, Information Officer (Geneva), Tel: + 41 22 730 43 46, Mobile: + 41 79 217 33 45

Media unit duty phone (Geneva) Mobile: + 41 79 416 3881