Morocco Begins Providing Cash to Families Whose Homes Were Destroyed by Earthquake

Moroccan officials will begin distributing funding to families whose homes were wrecked in an earthquake last month that killed almost 3,000 people and would necessitate an estimated $11.7 billion in restoration expenditures over the next five years on Friday.

Following the meeting of a commission appointed by King Mohammed VI to monitor recovery efforts earlier this week, the government announced that an initial monthly payment of 2,500 Moroccan dirhams ($242) will be made beginning Oct. 6.

The earthquake on September 8 struck havoc on rural areas south of Marrakech, where mountain routes are still unpaved and the economy is based on herding and small-scale agriculture. As the autumn nights drop, many people are sleeping outside in donated tents, facing the difficult process of reconstruction.

The payments are one of various sorts of assistance that Morocco intends to provide to earthquake-displaced residents. It will provide interim housing aid as well as up to 140,000 dirhams ($13,600) in rebuilding costs for wrecked properties. It also intends to rebuild over 1,000 schools and 42 health care facilities.

The Royal Cabinet announced on September 14 that the compensation would be distributed to 50,000 households in the impacted area. Marrakech and the five regions severely damaged by the earthquake are home to around 4.2 million people.

Morocco has also promised to improve and widen roads, support farmers and herders, and subsidize barley and animal feed in hard-hit areas.

The earthquake caused damage to landmarks around the region, which is populated by Morocco’s Amazigh-speaking minority.

Three days after the earthquake, Morocco established a specific disaster aid fund. It accepts state subsidies and donations from both within and outside of Morocco, including from governments and assistance organizations.

In addition, the International Monetary Fund, which will hold its annual meetings in Marrakech next week, has authorized a $1.3 billion loan to help Morocco strengthen its resilience to natural disasters.

Written by PH

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