A Nation Shaken
Late on Friday night, Morocco was jolted by its most powerful earthquake since 1960, leaving devastation in its wake. Initial reports paint a grim picture, with approximately 100,000 children bearing the brunt of the disaster. As the Kingdom grapples with this seismic catastrophe, aftershocks loom, further endangering the lives of children and families.
A Nightmarish Night
The magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck at the most vulnerable hour, just past 11 p.m. on September 8th, catching most families in their slumber. The impact has particularly hit Marrakesh and the High Atlas Mountains hard, affecting over 300,000 people.
Tragically, the death toll, which includes children, has already surpassed 2,600, with thousands more grappling with injuries. These grim figures are anticipated to rise. Startlingly, children constitute nearly a third of Morocco’s population, underscoring the scale of this humanitarian crisis.
Homes Crumble, Lives Shattered
In the quake’s wake, thousands of homes lie in ruins, leaving families exposed to the elements as temperatures plummet during the night. The devastation extends beyond homes, with schools, hospitals, and vital educational and medical facilities suffering severe damage or complete destruction.
These challenges compound the hardship faced by children, making immediate assistance crucial.
UNICEF has been committed to Morocco since 1957, establishing its country office in 1978. In the face of this crisis, UNICEF has swiftly mobilized humanitarian personnel to bolster the immediate response led by the Kingdom of Morocco.
UNICEF, in close collaboration with authorities and UN partners, stands ready to deliver crucial supplies and services to children and families in need, ensuring that no one in this time of unprecedented hardship is left behind.