Red Cross Red Crescent airlift brings much needed relief to Moroccan earthquake victims

Published: 27 February 2004

A total of nine Red Cross and Red Crescent relief flights have arrived in Morocco since Tuesday morning’s earthquake bringing in over 100 tonnes of relief materials in support of the Moroccan Red Crescent emergency operation for thousands who are homeless. Three more relief flights are planned for today and more aid will be trucked in over the coming days.

Some 90,000 pieces of clothing were brought in yesterday afternoon from the Finnish Red Cross on a flight supported by DHL as a response to the needs of vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children who are exposed to the harsh weather, particularly at night.

Many families will benefit from 1,400 family tents which started to arrive yesterday and today on flights from the Belgian, French, German and Netherlands Red Cross. The German and Netherlands Red Cross are also providing 6,500 tarpaulins which will assist in meeting the shelter requirements of those families living in camps being established by the Moroccan Red Crescent.

The Spanish Red Cross has sent in two relief flights and has also deployed a logistics emergency response unit to ensure there are no bottlenecks as the relief arrives and that materials are moved out quickly for distribution. A Norwegian Red Cross flight carrying two tented warehouses was diverted to Fez last night but is expected to land in the earthquake zone later today.

Considerable quantities of relief have also arrived from neighbouring Red Crescent societies including Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Two flights have arrived from Algeria carrying over 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid including medicines, clothing and food.

The Iranian Red Crescent which continues to deal with the needs in the earthquake-affected region of Bam announced today that it will also be sending a relief flight to Morocco.

On Wednesday, the International Federation launched an appeal for 2.8 million Swiss francs (US$ 2.3 million) to provide assistance for up to 30,000 people.

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