Tánaiste announces €2 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to Morocco
Press release11 September 2023
Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD, has announced a contribution of €2 million of Irish Aid support to the people of Morocco who are experiencing a humanitarian crisis following the devastating earthquake of September 9. This funding will support the work of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the Moroccan Red Crescent Society (MRCS) who are a pivotal part of the local response.
The €2 million allocation will support immediate and urgent humanitarian needs on the ground. The funds will support local communities most affected through the provision of emergency shelter, clean drinking water and food, mobile health care including psychological support, and hygiene centres through support of the local response by the Moroccan Red Crescent.
Approximately 300,000 people have already been directly affected by the earthquake, with over 2,100 deaths and 2,400 injuries. There are concerns that these numbers will continue to grow in the coming days. Evacuations are underway and it is expected that thousands will be temporarily displaced in the region.
This support is in addition to prepositioned funding of €2.4m already provided to the IFRC by Ireland this year as part of a three-year MOU, which allows the Federation to respond immediately when a disaster strikes. The IFRC immediately disbursed €1 million over the weekend to support the operations of the Moroccan Red Crescent Society (MRCS) who were providing medical assistance, and supporting evacuation and coordination efforts.
Announcing the funding this morning, the Tánaiste said:
“I was shocked and saddened to learn of this devastating earthquake. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones, the injured and emergency responders. The destruction, particularly in remote areas, will place extraordinary pressure on vulnerable groups and pose significant challenges to rescuers. Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of Morocco and will provide immediate emergency humanitarian assistance. Funding from Ireland will support a locally led response and provide assistance to those most impacted by this disaster.”
Minister for International Development and Diaspora, Sean Fleming TD, said:
“This funding will play an important role in the rebuilding of lives and communities in Morocco following the devastating earthquake. Ireland has a proud record of responding quickly to support partners around the world when disasters strike. Our thoughts are with all the families who have lost loved ones. This humanitarian funding is a sign of Ireland’s support and solidarity with them at this time.”
11 September 2023
Notes for Editor
- Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, is an integral part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network. Their secretariat supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 191 countries, bringing together almost 15 million volunteers for the good of humanity.
- In addition to supporting direct crisis responses as they arise, Ireland also provides annual core funding for the IFRC and funding for its pooled Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF). In 2023, a three year MOU was signed committing Ireland to providing a minimum of €2.4 million split evenly between core and DREF funding for the 2023-2025 period.
- The Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) is the quickest, most efficient and most transparent way of getting funding directly to local humanitarian actors—both before and immediately after a crisis hits. The DREF is a central pot of money through which we can release funds rapidly to Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies for early action and immediate disaster response.
- Ireland has also supported the IFRC to respond to individual emergencies through direct funding totalling €10m in 2023, and including the Türkiye Earthquake appeal, Pakistan floods appeal and the Ukraine response.