Three months after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on September 8 — killing and injuring thousands of people and causing widespread destruction — the Moroccan Red Crescent is still working to help thousands of people, many of whom are still living in temporary shelters and tents as winter in the Atlas Mountains approaches.
In the immediate aftermath of the quake, Moroccan Red Crescent (MRCS) teams were on the ground immediately, coordinating closely with the IFRC and local authorities to assess the situation, support wth search and rescue and provide help to affected people.
Among other things, MRCS has provided first aid and psychosocial support, helped transport injured people to hospitals, evacuated people from damaged buildings and helped in offering dignified burial management. Other National Societies have also lended a hand as well. With support from, the Qatar Red Crescent, for example, MRCS has distributed tents, mattresses, blankets and kitchen kits in many remote mountain communities.
On 12 September, the IFRClaunched an Emergency Appeal for 100 million Swiss francsto scale up the relief efforts of the Moroccan Red Crescent. The appeal followed an allocation of1 million Swiss francsfrom the IFRC'sDisaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF)to support MRCS actions on the ground.
The funding has helped the Moroccan Red Crescent provide health services, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, relief items, food, livelihoods support, protection and community engagement activities. That work continues.
But the needs are still great and communities are still vulnerable. The photos below offer a glimpse into the the kinds of support given so far and the challenging situation people are facing as high-altitude, mountain communities prepare for winter.
Read more here about what assistance this funding is supporting.
Still today, the trauma of the quake lingers in peoples’ minds. In Ighermane, a village in the mountain of the Chichaoua province, families are anxious not only about aftershocks, but also about how to protect themselves from the cold and feed themselves over the winter months. Temperatures have dropped significantly and food stocks are at their lowest.
The earthquake also left families in many villages like Ighermanewithout toilets, access to running water or facilities to bathe ordo laundry.
Red Crescent teams also worked with community members in many places such as Tagadirt, which was nearly completely destroyed by the quake, to install latrines, showers and more water points to improve living conditions for people who lost their homes.
Since the earthquake struck, hundreds of supply trucks — full of tents, blankets, mattresses, jericans, clothes and food — have been dispatched to the earthquake-affected provinces of Al Haouz, Chichawa and Taroudant. The IFRC and the MRCS continue to engage with communities, to listen to their needs so they can offer the most effective recovery support.
The IFRC and MRCS continue to listen to the people of the Atlas Mountains in order to help them weather the winter, prepare for potential future shocks, and ultimately to get back to life as it was before this catastrophic quake.
Geneva/Beirut/Marrakesh, 6 October 2023: Nearly one month since the devastating earthquake in Morocco, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) highlights urgent humanitarian needs as winter approaches. Immediate requirements include warm shelter for those who have lost or incurred damage to their homes and crucial hygiene infrastructure like latrines and showers.
From the start, the Moroccan Red Crescent Society has been on the ground. Together with IFRC support, the teams are closely collaborating with local authorities to assess needs and deliver assistance. Active in the four most impacted provinces—Taroudant, Marrakech, Chichawa, and Al Haouz—the Moroccan Red Crescent currently has hundreds of volunteers engaged, providing relief items and psychosocial support. One month into the response, the need to scale up shelter and sanitation efforts remains critical.
To date, the Moroccan Red Crescent, supported by the IFRC, have reached over 50,000 people. More than 290 volunteers have been deployed across affected provinces. They have supported search and rescue operations, organized medical caravans and established makeshift medical tents. The teams have also conducted blood donation drives and offered psychosocial support to affected people, even in the most remote villages.
Gwendolen Eamer, Head of Emergency Operations for the IFRC, said:
"The earthquake has devastated thousands of families, exposing them to harsh conditions. Our teams are working tirelessly, but the scale of the need is overwhelming, particularly as winter is closing in on the High Atlas Mountains. Time is of the essence. We are racing against the clock to provide insulated shelters and winter essentials. Our appeal targets not just immediate needs but is intended to prepare these communities for a harsh winter and build their resilience for the years to come."
Given the region's high altitude of between 1500-2000 meters, the cold is especially piercing for those without adequate shelter. While initial relief has provided some basic accommodations, the pressing need for insulated shelters and winter provisions is escalating.
Sami Fakhouri, Head of Delegation, Morocco, IFRC, added:
“Coordination with local authorities has been pivotal in sustaining our response efforts. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of these operations, often reaching places others can't. Yet, as winter approaches, some families are worried not just about the cold but about living in dignity and reuniting with their loved ones. We are actively seeking solutions to upgrade or adapt shelters for the winter months. The real test lies ahead, and failing is not an option."
The IFRC Emergency Appeal seeking CHF 100 million to support the Moroccan Red Crescent’s response has been funded up to around CHF 19 million, with a current funding gap of approximately 81%. Continued support and funding are desperately needed to significantly impact those affected, enabling them to rebuild their lives and contribute to local economies.
To fund the emergency appeal and support the people of Morocco in their time of dire need, visit the IFRC website.
For b-roll footage, visit the IFRC newsroom.
To request an interview, contact: [email protected]
Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67
Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 50 06
Mey Alsayegh: +961 3 229 352
Amizmiz, 50km south-west of Marrakesh, is one of the towns most heavily affected by the September 8 earthquake in Morocco.
Upon entering the town on 18 September, we saw search and rescue teams packing up their equipment after a grueling ten days of pulling survivors and casualties from the wreckage.
What’s striking as we entered the small town is the buzzing main street, with only a few visibly destroyed houses. An eerie semblance of normality.
But as we passed through the small side streets in the heart of the city, it’s chaos. Hundreds of houses have collapsed on top of each other. All that remains is rubble and dust.
Public buildings were not spared. The local hospital, while still standing, now has severe cracks and had been declared unsafe to operate.
With nowhere else to go, several makeshift medical tents have been set up in the middle of the street to take care of injured people who continue to arrive.
It was just as we entered one of these tents, located on the edge of the main roundabout with its continuous flow of cars and trucks bringing relief supplies, that baby Anas was born.
With the sun beating down, the temperature in the tent exceeds 35 degrees Celsius. There’s only one delivery table and a desk inside.
Anas is nestled safely in the arms of his mother, Nezha, blissfully unaware of the chaos surrounding him. He’s Nezha’s third child—her second boy—named after one of the nurses who helped her when she reached the clinic.
Nezha’s smile, and the smiles on the faces of the local nurses who cared for her, are a ray of sunshine in the difficult times Nezha and her family are going through.
By the end of the day, the local branch of the Moroccan Red Crescent had managed to find a temporary structure, with electricity and air conditioning, where they relocated the improvised maternity ward.
As our response to the earthquake continues, it’s precious moments like this—a mother cradling her healthy newborn son—that keep our volunteers and staff going amid the heartbreak and devastation.
Click here to learn more about our response to the Morocco earthquake.
To donate and support people like Nezha to recover from this crisis, please donate here.
Geneva –Amiddevastatingloss of life due to disasters and conflict, there is often unfounded fear and misunderstanding concerning the dead. It is therefore important that communities have the tools and information they need to manage dead bodies safely and with dignity.This is in part to help survivors along the path to recovery,the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.
When many people die in natural disasters or armed conflict, the presence of these bodies is distressing for affected communities. Some may move quickly to bury bodies, such as in mass graves, in part in an attempt to manage this distress, and sometimes because of the fear that these bodies pose a health threat. This approach can be detrimental to the population, the organizations said.
Though local authorities and communities can be under immense pressure to bury the dead quickly, the consequences of mismanagement of the dead include long lasting mental distress for family members as well as social and legal problems. Well managed burials include easily traceable and properly documented individual graves in demarcated burial sites. This should ensure that the exact location of each dead body, as well as the associated information and personal belongings, is known as outlined in guidance developed by the organizations, in particular theICRC/IFRC/WHO Manual for the Management of the Dead After Disasters. Cremations should not take place before the body is positively identified.
In order to support better management of the dead, the organizations provide supplies and expertise to local authorities to help them manage the sometimes-overwhelming task of burying the dead. Today in Libya, Red Cross and WHO teams are working directly with authorities, communities and the Libyan Red Crescent Society, supporting them with guidance, materials, and training. The ICRC and WHO are both delivering body bags in Libya to help with the dignified treatment of the dead.
The bodies of people who have died following wounds sustained in a natural disaster or armed conflict almost never pose a health danger to communities. This is because victims who have died from trauma, drowning or fire do not normally harbour organisms that cause disease with common precautions. The exceptions are when deaths occur from infectious diseases such as Ebola or Marburg diseases or cholera, or when the disaster occurred in an area endemic for these infectious diseases.
Under any circumstance, dead bodies near or in water supplies can lead to health concerns, as the bodies may leak feces and contaminate water sources, leading to a risk of diarrheal or other illness. Bodies should not be left in contact with drinking water sources.
“The belief that dead bodies will cause epidemics is not supported by evidence. We see too many cases where media reports and even some medical professionals get this issue wrong,” said Pierre Guyomarch, the head of ICRC’s forensics unit. “Those who survive an event like a natural disaster are more likely to spread disease than dead bodies.”
“We urge authorities in communities touched by tragedy to not rush forward with mass burials or mass cremations. Dignified management of bodies is important for families and communities, and in the cases of conflict, is often an important component of bringing about a swifter end to the fighting,” said Dr Kazunobu Kojima, Medical Officer for biosafety and biosecurity in WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme.
“An unnecessary rush to dispose of bodies of those killed in disasters or conflict deprives families of the opportunity to identify and mourn their loved ones, while providing no public health benefit. Dignified treatment of the dead requires appropriate time to identify the deceased and mourn and perform funeral rites in accordance with local cultural and social norms,” said Gwen Eamer, IFRC’s Senior Officer for Public Health in Emergencies and Head of Emergency Operations, Morocco Earthquake Response.
The ICRC, IFRC and WHO wish to remind authorities and communities of the following:
While it is distressing to see dead bodies, community leaders or authorities should not hastily bury bodies in mass graves or carry out mass cremations. Burial or cremation procedures must keep in mind cultural, religious, and family concerns.
The bodies of those who die from natural disasters or armed conflict are generally not a source of disease.
Unless the deceased has died from a highly infectious disease, the risk to the public is negligible. However, there is a risk of diarrhoea from drinking water contaminated by faecal material from dead bodies. Routine disinfection of drinking water is sufficient to prevent waterborne illness.
Rapid, disrespectful mass burials or cremations, make identification of the dead and notification to family more difficult and sometimes impossible.
The only time dead bodies pose a health risk of epidemics is when the deaths resulted from some infectious diseases or when a natural disaster occurs in an area where such a disease is endemic.
Lime powder does not hasten decomposition, and since dead bodies in disaster or conflict are generally not an infectious risk, the disinfection of these bodies is not needed.
After any contact with the deceased, hands should be washed with soap and water, or cleaned with alcohol-based hand rub if there is no visible soiling.
The ICRC, IFRC and WHO urge all parties to conflict, and responders in disasters, to follow established principles for the management of dead bodies, for the good of all of society, and have offered further support as needed.
For more information, please contact:
ICRC media office:[email protected]
IFRC media office:[email protected]
WHO media office:[email protected]
Geneva/Beirut/Marrakesh, 19 September 2023: With forecasts predicting imminent rain and a heightened risk of landslides, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is intensifying its relief operations in Morocco following last week's devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake. The urgent need for swift and effective action has never been greater.
Benoit Carpentier, IFRC spokesperson, said:
"A deteriorating road network, particularly in isolated mountain villages, is making the distribution of essential supplies a race against time. We are deeply concerned about the imminent weather conditions. The Moroccan Red Crescent’s local knowledge is invaluable. They are our guiding force, making sure that our response is as effective as possible. We must continue to mobilize support for the weeks and months ahead to ensure that no community, no individual, is left behind."
Hundreds of Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers are on the ground, providing a lifeline in affected regions. Immediate relief measures include provision of first aid.
M'hamed En-Nosse, Director of Operations and Regional Coordinator of Rescue and First Aid for the Moroccan Red Crescent in the Marrakesh-Safi region, said:
"Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers have been responding to the emergency since the first hours following the earthquake. We are now mobilizing all our forces in collaboration with public authorities and with the support of the IFRC to assist those who have lost everything before the arrival of rain and cold weather. The journey ahead is long, but we will stand by the side of those affected for as long as necessary."
While immediate needs for food and water have been met due to the strong community solidarity, safe shelter and sanitation remain a significant concern. Makeshift settlements are still home to thousands of families who require essential items ranging from mattresses and blankets to cooking utensils and hygiene supplies.
Moreover, the need for solar-powered lighting and safety measures is increasingly apparent, especially in areas where restoring electricity will take weeks. As colder weather approaches, the likelihood of people cooking indoors and using gas heaters rises, elevating the risk of fires. In this context, financial support is critical for local procurement of essential supplies that address both immediate and evolving needs.
On 12 September, the IFRC launched an emergency appeal for 100 million Swiss Francs (CHF) to direct overwhelming support from individuals both within Morocco and the international community. It aims to support the Moroccan Red Crescent in efforts ranging from immediate relief like health services, clean water, and sanitation, to medium-term solutions like community engagement and livelihood support.
Your contribution can make an immediate difference. Click here to donate to our emergency appeal and support the people of Morocco in their time of need.
To request an interview, please contact: [email protected]
Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67
Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 50 06
Mey Alsayegh: +961 3 229 352
When the 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late at night on September 8, Said was out of town and away from his family home located in the small rural town of Tamaloukte—close to the earthquake’s epicentre.
Immediately, he rushed back home through the rubble and debris of collapsed buildings that now inundate the surrounding roads.
Upon arriving home, he discovered the remnants of his house—barely recognizable and almost completely destroyed by the earthquake.
While he had been rushing home, Said’s father, Mohamed, had tried desperately to save his three grandchildren who were inside. But, tragically, two of Said’s three children—his 11 year-old daughter, Asma, and 5 year-old son, Ibrahim—did not survive.
"I was sleeping at home when the earthquake hit. I was told that my second house [where the grandchildren were at] had collapsed, so I came rushing to save my grandchildren but found them under the rubble, unresponsive. The roof came down while they were inside,” explains Mohamed.
Asma and Ibrahim are two of the 47 victims who have lost their lives to the earthquake in Tamaloukte.
The Moroccan Red Crescent, with the support of the Qatar Red Crescent, has been giving Said’s family vital psychosocial support as they come to terms with their immense loss.
Volunteers have also provided Said’s family with a tent, warm blankets, several mattresses and clothes to get through the initial aftermath of the disaster.
This assistance is just the first step in what will likely be a long and difficult journey to recovery.
Behind every stat or number in this crisis, there is a story: stories of lost loved ones, neighbours, friends. Stories of futures, stolen in an instant, and of broken homes.
Through our Morocco earthquake emergency appeal, the IFRC network is supporting the Moroccan Red Crescent to be there for families like Said’s now, and long into the future.
While we cannot replace what he has lost, we will do everything we can to help Said and his family rebuild their lives.
To support people like Said who have lost everything due to the earthquake, please donate to our Morocco earthquake appeal today.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on September 8, killing and injuring thousands of people and causing widespread destruction. The Moroccan Red Crescent Society (MRCS) responded immediately, providing first aid and psychosocial support, helping transport the injured to hospitals, evacuating people from damaged buildings and providing dignified burial management.Through this appeal, the IFRC is supporting MRCS to meet the immediate and early recovery needs of 500,000 affected people. Priorities include providing food and safe water, essential household items, shelter support, health and mental health services, and cash assistance.
Geneva, 12 September 2023 - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal for 100 million Swiss Francs to further scale up relief efforts of the Moroccan Red Crescent.
More than three days after the earthquake hit Morocco, aid is reaching more remote locations, but conditions are challenging. Since the disaster hit on Friday night, Moroccan Red Crescent teams have been working with Moroccan authorities. They are supporting search and rescue operations, providing first aid and psychosocial support, helping transport the injured to hospitals and evacuating people from damaged buildings, and providing food and water.
Within 24 hours of the earthquake, we approved one million Swiss Francs from our Disaster Response Emergency Fund (the DREF) to support the Moroccan Red Crescent in their actions to provide immediate locally sourced relief.
The emergency appeal we launch today will support the Moroccan Red Crescent work on both the most pressing needs and the medium-term temporary solutions. These include health, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, relief items and basic needs (food, household essentials), livelihoods, protection and community engagement.
The IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain, said
“The IFRC is launching this appeal to harness the goodwill shown by so many towards the people of Morocco. The needs on the ground are great and will only grow over coming days and weeks.
We ask partners and donors to continue to show solidarity with the people of Morocco and to help scale up our collective support to those communities hit by the earthquake. This emergency response is a marathon, not a sprint: people affected by the earthquake will need support for weeks and months to come. We will need to support them not only now, but in the future. Such a vast-scale earthquake needs long-lasting and sustainable support.”
On the IFRC website, you can find a regularly updated webpage on the emergency response.
Photos are available here.
To request an interview, please contact: [email protected]
Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67
Andrew Thomas: +41 76 367 65 87
Mey Alsayegh: +961 3 229 352
This page was last updated on Monday 18 September. For updates on our earthquake response going forward, please visit out Morocco: Earthquake page.
Click here to donate to our earthquake response in Morocco.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Morocco on Friday, September 8, killing more than 3,000 people, injuring many more and causing widespread devastation.
Moroccan Red Crescent (MRCS) teams were on the ground immediately, and have been since, coordinating closely with the IFRC and local authorities to assess the situation, support in the search and rescue operation and provide help to affected people.
On 12 September, the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal for 100 million Swiss francs to scale up the relief efforts of the Moroccan Red Crescent. Funding raised will help the Moroccan Red Crescent to provide health services, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, relief items, food, livelihoods support, protection and community engagement activities.
This appeal follows an allocation of1 million Swiss francs from the IFRC'sDisaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support Moroccan Red Crescent activity on the ground. Read more here about what assistance this funding is supporting.
Other Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from around the world have also reached out to provide assistance.
This emergency response is a marathon, not a sprint: people affected by the earthquake will need support for the weeks and months to come.
If you are a journalist and would like more information or to request an interview about this emergency, please [email protected].
Photos from the response so far are available here. We are adding new photos as they become available.
Follow these Twitter accounts for the latest updates
@elsharkawi- IFRC MENA Regional Director, Hossam Elsharkawi
How to prepare for, and protect yourself during, earthquakes
Our Resilient and Empowered African Community Health (REACH) initiative, in partnership with Africa CDC, aims to improve the health of communities across Africa by scaling upeffective, people-centred and integrated community health workforces and systems.
Human-caused climate change made the record-breaking heatwave in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria at least 100 times more likely and the heat would have been almost impossible without climate change, according to rapid attribution analysis by an international team of leading climate scientists as part of the World Weather Attribution group.
In late April, parts of southwestern Europe and North Africa experienced a massive heatwave that brought extremely high temperatures never previously recorded in the region at this time of the year, with temperatures reaching 36.9-41°C in the four countries. The event broke temperature records by a large margin, against the backdrop of an intense drought.
Across the world, climate change has made heatwaves more common, longer and hotter. To quantify the effect of climate change on these high temperatures, scientists analysed weather data and computer model simulations to compare the climate as it is today, after about 1.2°C of global warming since the late 1800s, with the climate of the past, following peer-reviewed methods. The analysis looked at the average of the maximum temperature for three consecutive days in April across southern Spain and Portugal, most of Morocco and the northwest part of Algeria.
The researchers found that climate change made the heatwave at least 100 times more likely, with temperatures up to 3.5°C hotter than they would have been without climate change. They calculated that the event is still unusual, even with the large increase in likelihood due to human-caused warming, indicating it would have been almost impossible without climate change.
As other analyses of extreme heat in Europe have found, extreme temperatures are increasing faster in the region than climate models have predicted, a question that is currently under intense research. Until overall greenhouse gas emissions are halted, global temperatures will continue to increase and events like these will become more frequent and severe. For example, if global mean temperatures rise an additional 0.8°C, to a total warming of 2°C, models show that a heatwave such as this one would be 1ºC hotter.
While people in the Mediterranean are no strangers to high temperatures, their occurrence in Aprilcombined with the ongoing drought likely increased impacts. The study was conducted by 10 researchers as part of the World Weather Attribution group, including scientists from universities and meteorological agencies in France, Morocco, the Netherlands and the UK.
Fatima Driouech, Associate Professor at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, said:“The intense heatwave came on top of a preexisting multi-year drought, exacerbating the lack of water in Western Mediterranean regions and threatening the 2023 crop yield. As the planet warms, these situations will become more frequent and call for long-term planning, including implementing sustainable agricultural models and effective water management policies."
Roop Singh, Senior Climate Risk Advisor at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, said:“Early season heatwaves tend to be deadlier as people have not yet prepared their homes or acclimated to summer temperatures. In Spain, for example, we saw heatwave adaptation measures put in place earlier than usual, which is exactly the type of adaptive heat action we need to see more of to reduce preventable deaths from heat.”
Friederike Otto, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change
and the Environment, said:“The Mediterranean is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in Europe. The region is already experiencing a very intense and long lasting drought and these high temperatures at a time of the year when it should be raining is worsening the situation. Without rapidly stopping the burning of fossil fuels
and adaptation towards a hotter, drier climate, losses and damages in the region will continue to rise dramatically. ”
Sjoukje Philip, Researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, said: "Temperature records have again been broken by a large margin, as in some other recent heatwaves around the world. The fact that temperature trends in the region are higher than what models predict shows that we need to better understand the regional effects of climate change so that we can adapt to even more extreme heat in the future."
Click here to access the study.
World Weather Attribution (WWA) is an international collaboration that analyses and communicates the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events, such as storms, extreme rainfall, heatwaves, cold spells, and droughts.
Previous studies by WWA include research that found that climate change exacerbated floods in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa this year. WWA studies have also shown that this year’s drought in the Northern Hemisphere was made more likely by climate change and that it increased the rainfall that led to Pakistan’s deadly flooding, but that it was not the main driver in Madagascar’s 2021 food crisis.
Beirut, 16 December 2021 – Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies are reaching more than 1.5 million migrants, refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Middle East and North Africa, yet the number of people on the move left without essential support is colossal, a report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has found.
Ahead of International Migrants Day on 18 December, the IFRC is calling for a stronger commitment to support people on the move during their journey, not only once they have managed to reach their planned destination – if they ever do.
Fabrizio Anzolini, Migration Regional Advisor for IFRC MENA, said:
“Countless migrants face inhumane conditions along their way, including violence, lack of food, shelter and access to health services. Climate change and conflicts are only expected to accelerate the number of people migrating out of the region in the coming months and years. We need to act right now on the routes and advocating for durable solutions.”
The region, with more than 40 million migrants and 14 million internally displaced people, has some of the world’s longest protracted conflicts, combined with frequent natural disasters, man-made crises and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Regional hotspots include the population movement from Afghanistan to Iran, the migration flows from Morocco, Tunisia and Libya to Europe, the extensive number of internally displaced persons in Syria, as well as the route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Rania Ahmed, IFRC MENA Deputy Regional Director, said:
“Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are reaching more than 1.5 million migrants and displaced people in the Middle East and North Africa, but it is not enough. We need bigger investment and greater long-term commitment to address their plight. We need to mobilize all efforts and resources to ensure people on the move receive humanitarian assistance and protection. Migrants and displaced populations are intensely vulnerable and must be included in COVID-19 prevention, response, and recovery plans. We urge governments to ensure that people on the move have equal access to vaccinations, health care and basic services.”
With the engagement of the IFRC, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the MENA region are on the frontline attempting to cover the enormous gap between people’s needs and the support that is available for them. Red Cross and Red Crescent teams provide multidisciplinary assistance, including health services, livelihood support, protection for children and victims of violence, mental health, and psychosocial support, as well as cash assistance. These support services are also widely available to host communities, leaving no one behind.
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies remain committed to continue responding to the needs of migrants and displaced people as well as advocating for the support that they need at country, regional and global levels through evidence-based humanitarian diplomacy. However, their continued activities are hampered by shrinking funding. In addition, access to migrants is often limited, especially in conflict zones and due to restrictions put in place to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can access the full report here: MENA Red Cross and Red Crescent Activities on Migration and Displacement – Snapshot 2021. The survey includes responses from twelve Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Middle East and North Africa.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
In Geneva: Rana Sidani Cassou, +41 766715751 / +33 675945515, [email protected]
In Beirut: Jani Savolainen, +961 70372812 / +358 504667831, [email protected]
بيروت، 2 أغسطس/آب 2021 – يعبّر الاتحاد الدولي لجمعيات الصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر في الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا عن قلقه من أن يؤدي تزايد انتقال فيروس كوفيد19 في المنطقة إلى إحداث تأثير كرة ثلج تصيب كل بلدان المنطقة وترتب أثارا صحية واجتماعية واقتصادية كارثية. ويدعو الإتحاد الدولي الى تعزيز عمليات التلقيح وتدابير الحماية من العدوى والوقاية منها.
وأبلغت تونس والجزائر والمغرب وليبيا عن أكبر عدد من الحالات الجديدة في الأسابيع الماضية، حيث شهدت تونس أكبر زيادة في عدد الوفيات الجديدة. وتتزايد المخاوف بشأن المستقبل مع استمرار انتشار الفيروس بأشكاله المتحورة واتجاه النظم الصحية الى الانهيار، واستمرار تأخر معدلات التطعيم في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا بشكل خطير.
وقال الدكتور هيثم قوصة رئيس وحدة الصحة في الاتحاد الدولي:
"إنّ تأخر بعض الدول في حملات التلقيح لن يؤدي إلا إلى إطالة أمد الوباء، ليس في المنطقة فحسب، بل على الصعيد العالمي. وتواجه بلدان عديدة مواطن ضعف أخرى، بما في ذلك الصراعات والكوارث الطبيعية ونقص المياه والتشرد وغير ذلك من الأمراض المعدية. وهذا يجعل الناس أكثر عرضة للآثار المدمرة فيروس لكوفيد19. وينبغي أن يكون هذا وحده سببا كافيا للتضامن العالمي لضمان الحصول العادل على اللقاح في المنطقة. وعلى الصعيد العالمي، يعد الإنصاف في اللقاحات عاملا رئيسيا في الحد من احتمال وجود نسخات متحورة اضافية للفيروس. وهذه هي الطريقة الوحيدة التي يمكننا بها إنهاء هذا الوباء حقا".
ويستمر متطوعو وموظفو الصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر بالعمل على خط المواجهة في الاستجابة منذ بداية الجائحة بدعم من الاتحاد الدولي من خلال:
1. الجهود المبذولة لتسريع حملات التطعيم الوطنية.
2. تقديم المساعدات النقدية والطرود الغذائية ومستلزمات النظافة والكمامات.
3. توفير الإمدادات الطبية بما في ذلك أجهزة تكثيف الأكسجين وأجهزة التنفس الصناعي والمولدات الكهربائية وأدوات الحماية الشخصية للسلطات الصحية المحلية.
4. رصد حملات التطعيم من أجل التأكد من جودة تطبيقها وفقا للمعايير الدولية والإنصاف.
5. الدعم التقني الخاص بالإعلام والنشر حول المخاطر والمشاركة المجتمعية.
وعلى الرغم من الخطاب النبيل بشأن التضامن العالمي من حيث الإنصاف في اللقاحات، هناك فجوة قاتلة في الخطة العالمية لتوزيع لقاحات كوفيد19 توزيعا عادلا. على سبيل المثال في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا، تم إعطاء 10 جرعات فقط لكل 100 شخص في العديد من البلدان، بما في ذلك ليبيا والجزائر ومصر والعراق. في سوريا واليمن، كان هناك أقل من جرعة واحدة لكل 100 شخص.
وقال الدكتور حسام فيصل، رئيس وحدة الكوارث والمناخ والأزمات في الاتحاد الدولي:
"تذكرنا موجات الوباء الجديدة بأن المعركة ضده لم تنته بعد للأسف. ومع ذلك، فإنه يسلط الضوء أيضا على الدور الحاسم لموظفي ومتطوعي الصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر كجهات فاعلة محلية موثوق بها وقادرة على الاستجابة بسرعة لموجات جديدة من الانتشار. وفي جميع أنحاء المنطقة، يعمل المتطوعون والموظفون بلا كلل لدعم النظم الصحية، والمساعدة في حماية المجتمعات المحلية، وضمان أن تصل اللقاحات الى الفئات الأكثر ضعفا. ولكن بدون المزيد من اللقاحات، لا يمكن أن تكون هناك حملات تطعيم".
ملاحظات إلى المحررين
في الأسابيع الأربعة الماضية، نرى زيادة حادة في انتشار عدوى كوفيد19. واستجابة للذروة الأخيرة، قام الهلال الأحمر الجزائري بزيادة أنشطته بسرعة بمجرد أن ارتفعت الأرقام إلى مستوى ينذر بالخطر، لكن الوضع لم ينته بعد. وقد تم بالفعل تطعيم أكثر من مليوني شخص من قبل أطباء وممرضي الهلال الأحمر ليس فقط في المدن ولكن أيضا في المناطق النائية. وقد تم افتتاح العديد من مراكز التطعيم مؤخرا للوصول إلى الهدف الوطني الذي حددته السلطات وهو تلقيح 20 مليون شخص بحلول نهاية عام 2021.
ويعمل أكثر من 20.000 متطوع على:
1. دعم السلطات في حملات التطعيم.
2. توزيع مليوني كمامة منذ بداية الوباء و100.000 مجموعة من أدوات النظافة للأسر التي تعيش في المناطق النائية.
3. توفير المكثفات الأكسجين للمستشفيات في مناطق تكثر فيها حالات الإصابة.
وفي الأسابيع الماضية، سجلت تونس أكبر عدد من الوفيات اليومية منذ بداية الوباء في ظل انتشار المتحور دلتا وانخفاض توافر اللقاح. وتكافح نظم الرعاية الصحية للتعامل مع هذه الزيادة وخاصة أقسام العناية المركزة التي هي مشغولة بالكامل. ويثقل الفيروس كاهل الأطباء بالتفشي السريع للحالات وتزايد عدد الوفيات. لدى تونس واحد من أعلى معدلات وفيات الفرد في العالم. ولا تزال حملات التطعيم تسير بشكل بطيء.
وحتى 29 يوليو/تموز 2021، ومن بين 11.7 مليون نسمة، تم تطعيم 1.677446 مليون نسمة بجرعة واحدة على الأقل (14.1٪). في حين أن 934.004 ( 7.9 ٪ ) تم تطعيمهم بالكامل.
وقد عزز الهلال الأحمر التونسي، كهيئة مساعدة للسلطات العامة، استجابته للاحتياجات الإنسانية المتزايدة، وركز على دعم النظام الصحي في البلاد من خلال حملات التوعية بالمخاطر، وتوفير الرعاية المنزلية لمكثفات الأكسجين، فضلا عن توفير وسائل الوقاية الشخصية مثل الكمامات وغيرها من المواد للعاملين الصحيين في الخطوط الأمامية.
ويواصل 3000 متطوع منتشرين من 24 فرعا في جميع أنحاء البلد حملات التوعية، ويساعدون السكان في التسجيل على منصة التطعيم ولا سيما كبار السن والمهاجرين وسكان المناطق الريفية النائية، ويوزعون في الوقت نفسه الغذاء ومستلزمات النظافة. في جميع مراكز التطعيم تقريبا، يساعد متطوعون العاملين الصحيين في التحقق من التسجيل والمواعيد، ومراقبة أي آثار جانبية قد تحصل ما بعد التطعيم مباشرة.
وفي الأسبوعين الماضيين، قام الاتحاد الدولي والهلال الأحمر القطري والهلال الأحمر الكويتي بشحن أكثر من عشرة أطنان من المعدات الطبية، بما في ذلك أجهزة تركيز الأكسجين والتنفس الصناعي ومعدات الحماية الشخصية والمطهر إلى الهلال الأحمر التونسي.
وقد ساعد الهلال الأحمر التونسي 10 ملايين شخص منذ بداية الجائحة من خلال حملات التوعية في الأماكن والمؤسسات العامة، وإجراء الفحص والفرز، وإدارة طوابير الانتظار أمام المرافق العامة ومراكز التطعيم.
هناك زيادة حادة في الحالات في الأسابيع الأربعة الماضية. وقد شهد المغرب زيادة بنسبة 40٪ في عدد الإصابات في الأسبوع 29 مقارنة بالأسبوع السابق. وفي 14 تموز/يوليو لم يحصل سوى 27 في المائة من السكان على التطعيم الكامل.
وقد حشد الهلال الأحمر المغربي أكثر من 2000 متطوع لدعم حملات التطعيم إلى جانب الأطباء والممرضين. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، ينشط 000 5 متطوع في 75 فرعا في جميع أنحاء البلد لتوعية السكان بأهمية اللقاح وتعزيز احترام رسائل الاتصال المتعلقة بالمخاطر. وبدعم من الاتحاد الدولي ، توزع الجمعية الأغذية والأدوية ومواد النظافة والكمامات في المناطق الحضرية في المناطق النائية التي تصل إلى ما لا يقل عن 190,000 أسرة.
ويؤثر الوباء على الصحة العقلية للسكان. لذا تدرب 150 متطوعا على الإسعافات الأولية النفسية والاجتماعية، وأداروا الخط الساخن للاستماع إلى المجتمع، وتقديم الإسعافات الأولية النفسية، وتلقي طلبات للحصول على الأدوية والغذاء، وما إلى ذلك.
يضيف وباء كوفيد19 تحديا إضافيا على التحديات التي تسبب فيها النزاع المسلح والتي أدت إلى ضعف نظام الرعاية الصحية، والوضع الاقتصادي المتردي، ونقص الخدمات الأساسية والظروف الإنسانية الخطيرة التي يعاني منها المواطنون والمهاجرون عبر البحر الأبيض المتوسط. وتشهد ليبيا حاليا زيادة في عدد حالات الإصابة، حيث سجلت في 13 يوليو أعلى معدل يومي لها من الإصابات بزيادة قدرها 161٪ مقارنة بالأسبوع السابق. ومع انخفاض معدل التطعيم، يمكن أن تزيد أثار هذه الموجة من معاناة المواطنين. ولمحاربة هذه الموجة، فرضت ليبيا تدابير احترازية جديدة للحد من معدلات العدوى شملت إغلاق الحدود مع تونس المجاورة وإغلاق المقاهي والمطاعم، وحظر حفلات الزفاف والجنازات، ووقف وسائل النقل العام لمدة أسبوعين.
تقوم جمعية الهلال الأحمر الليبي بالتنسيق مع الاتحاد الدولي بدعم المجتمعات المضيفة والمهاجرين بالمواد الغذائية ومواد النظافة والخدمات الصحية وحماية الأطفال ونقاط الخدمات الإنسانية للمهاجرين والمشاركة في أنشطة نشر الوعي حول المخاطر والمشاركة المجتمعية، والوقاية وأهمية التحصين ضد المرض. ويؤدي الهلال الليبي دورا رئيسيا في إدارة مواقع التطعيم في جميع أنحاء ليبيا مع المركز الوطني لمكافحة الأمراض المشتركة. وقد وصل المركز مباشرة إلى 500 35 شخص في رده على من خلال الدعم المقدم من الاتحاد الدولي لجمعيات الصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر.
لمزيد من المعلومات
في بيروت: رنا صيداني كاسو، مسؤولة قسم الإعلام
Beirut, 02 August 2021 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Middle East and North Africa, is concerned that the increasing COVID-19 transmissions in the region could spark a domino effect with catastrophic health, social and economic impacts, unless vaccination rollouts are stepped up and protection measures reinforced.
Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia reported the greatest number of new cases in the past weeks, with Tunisia reporting the greatest increase in new reported deaths. Concerns for the future are mounting as variants continue to spread, health systems are on the verge of collapse and the vaccination rates in the Middle East and North Africa region continue to lag dangerously behind.
Dr Haytham Qosa, Head of IFRC MENA Health Unit, said:
“Leaving countries behind on vaccines will only serve to prolong the pandemic, not just in the region, but globally. Many countries are facing other vulnerabilities, including conflict, natural disasters, water shortages, displacement, and other disease outbreaks. This makes people even more vulnerable to the devastating impacts of COVID-19. This alone should be a reason enough for global solidarity to ensure equitable vaccine access in the region. At a global level, vaccine equity is key to reducing the likelihood of variants and saving lives by limiting the spread of the virus. This is the only way we can truly end this pandemic.”
The Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 response since the outset. IFRC has been supporting the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in MENA with:
Efforts to accelerate vaccination campaigns in support of the national vaccination plans.
Provision of cash assistance, food parcels, hygiene kits, and masks to affected people.
Provision of medical supplies including oxygen concentrators, ventilators & generators, and PPEs to local health authorities.
Monitoring of the vaccination campaigns for quality, standards, fairness and equity.
Technical support with risk communication and community engagement.
Despite lofty rhetoric about global solidarity in terms of vaccine equity, there is a deadly gap in the global plan to equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines. In MENA region, only 10 doses per 100 people have been administered in many countries, including Libya, Algeria, Egypt, and Iraq. In Syria and Yemen, there has been less than one dose per 100 people.
Dr Hosam Faysal, Head of IFRC MENA Disasters, Climate and Crises Unit, coordinating the IFRC response to COVID-19, said:
“The new waves of the pandemic remind us that the battle against it is unfortunately not yet over. However, it also highlights the critical role of the our Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers as trusted local actors who are able to quickly response to new surges of cases. Across the region they are working tirelessly to support health system, help protect communities and ensure vaccines make it into arms of the most vulnerable. But without more vaccines, there cannot be vaccinations.”
Notes to Editors
Algeria: In the past 4 weeks, we have seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections. In response to the latest peak, the Algerian Red Crescent (ARCS) has scaled up the COVID-19 activities quickly once the numbers climbed up to alarming level but the situation is far from over. More than 2 million people have already been vaccinated by ARCS doctors and nurses not only in cities but also in remote areas. Many vaccinations centers have been opened recently to reach the national target set by authorities to reach 20 million people by the end of 2021.
More than 20,000 ARCS volunteers are fully active:
Supporting authorities in the vaccination campaigns.
Distributing 2 million masks since the start of the pandemic and 100.000 hygiene kits for families living in remote areas.
Providing Oxygen concentrators to hospitals in the “hot Spot” areas.
Tunisia: In the past weeks, Tunisia registered its highest number of daily COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads and vaccine availability remains low. The health care system is struggling to cope especially the intensive care departments that are full and doctors overburdened by a rapid outbreak of cases and deaths. Tunisia has one of the highest per capita death rates in the world. Vaccinations have been slow. As of 29 July 2021 and according to WHO, of the 11.7 million population, 1.677446 million were vaccinated with at least one shot (14.1% ) whereas 934,004 ( 7.9% ) are fully vaccinated.
The Tunisian Red Crescent as auxiliary body to the public authorities has been scaling up its response to the increased humanitarian needs and focusing on supporting the health system in country with risk communication campaigns, homecare provision of Oxygen concentrators as well as the provision of PPEs such as masks and other materials to front-line health workers.
3,000 volunteers deployed from 24 branches all over the country continue raising awareness campaigns, helping population registering on the E-Vax platform especially the elderly, migrants and people in most distant rural areas, providing at the same time food and hygiene kits assistance. In almost all vaccination centers, TRC volunteers assist health workers in checking registration, appointments, and onsite immediate post vaccination monitoring.
In the past two weeks, the IFRC, Qatar Red Crescent and Kuwait Red Crescent have shipped more than ten tons of medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators, ventilators, personal protective equipment and sanitizer to the Tunisian Red Crescent.
TRC has reached 10 million people since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak by raising awareness campaigns in public places and institutions, conducting screening and triage, and managing queues in front of public facilities and vaccination centres.
Morocco: There is a sharp increase in cases in the past 4 weeks. 40% increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in week 29 compared to the previous week. As of 14 July, only 27% of the population is fully vaccinated.
The Moroccan Red Crescent has mobilized more than 2,000 volunteers to support the vaccination campaigns alongside MRCS doctors and nurses. In addition, 5,000 volunteers are active in 75 branches all over the country to sensitize the population about the importance of vaccine and reinforce the respect of risk communication messages. In support from IFRC, MRCS distributes food, medicines, hygiene items, masks to communities in urban settings an in remote areas reaching at least 190,000 households.
The pandemic is affecting the mental health of the population. 150 volunteers trained on psychosocial first aid, manage the hotline to listen to community, provide emotional first aid, receive requests for medicines, food, etc.
Libya:The COVID-19 pandemic is adding another layer of crisis on years of armed conflict in Libya that has led to a weakened health care system, a dire economic situation, a lack of basic services and serious humanitarian conditions suffered by migrants transiting to through the Mediterranean. Libya is currently witnessing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, where on the 13th of July it recorded its highest daily rate of COVID 19 infections with 2,679 new cases, a 161% increase compared to the previous week. With the low rate of vaccination, these concerning figures promises a serious wave that can further shatter the country. To combat this wave, Libya has imposed new precautionary measures to curb infection rates that included the closure of the borders with neighbouring Tunisia on the 8th of July, the closure of coffee shops and restaurants, the banning of weddings and funerals and the halting of public transportation for two weeks.
The Libyan Red Crescent Society (LRCS), in coordination with IFRC, has been supporting host communities and migrants with food, hygiene items, health services, child protection, Humanitarian Service Points for Migrants and the engagement in Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) activities around COVID-19 prevention and the importance of immunization against the disease The LRCS is playing a key role in managing vaccination sites all over Libya with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The LRCS has directly reached 35,500 persons in its response to COVID-19 through support from the IFRC.
For more information
In Beirut: Rana Sidani Cassou, Head of Communications, IFRC MENA, +96171802779 [email protected]