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Morocco will devote $11.7 billion to the post-earthquake reconstruction plan | News

The five-year plan would target 4.2 million people in the worst-affected provinces and covers rehousing and emergency aid.

Morocco plans to spend at least 120 billion dirhams ($11.7 billion) on a post-earthquake reconstruction plan over the next five years, the royal palace announced, after a 6.8 magnitude quake struck on September 8, killing more than 2,900 people, mainly in the High Atlas Mountains.

This plan would target 4.2 million people in the most affected provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Taroudant, Marrakech, Ouarzazate and Azizlal, the Royal Palace said on Wednesday, following a meeting of King Mohammed VI with government and military officials.

It covers rehousing and modernization of infrastructure in order to promote social and economic development in areas affected by the earthquake, the press release added.

The royal palace said the plan would be financed by the government budget, international aid and a fund created in response to the earthquake.

The fund has so far received some $700 million in donations.

The program also called for the creation of essential reserve centers in each region, including tents, blankets, beds, medicine and food to respond to natural disasters.

The areas hit by the earthquake are among the poorest in Morocco, with many isolated villages lacking roads and adequate public services.

Last week, the palace said 50,000 homes were believed to have been damaged and that authorities would provide shelter and 30,000 dirhams ($3,000) to affected households.

He also pledged to offer reconstruction assistance of 140,000 dirhams for collapsed houses and 80,000 dirhams for damaged ones.

Moroccan authorities have been criticized for accepting limited foreign aid despite rescuers struggling to reach remote and hard-hit areas.

Only search and rescue teams from the United Kingdom, Qatar, Spain and the United Arab Emirates have been allowed to operate on the ground by Moroccan authorities, despite numerous offers from governments around the world.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) generally manages the international response to major disasters and emergencies through its agencies, the Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and the Advisory Group International Search and Rescue (INSARAG).

UN agencies can deploy within 12 to 48 hours and are dispatched at the request of the relevant government as well as the UN Resident or Humanitarian Coordinator in the country. The typical duration of their deployment is between two and four weeks.

However, the Moroccan government has not yet requested their help.


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