IsraAID worker volunteering after Hurricane Sandy (2012)
IsraAID worker volunteering after Hurricane Sandy (2012)Courtesy IsraAid

IsraAID, Israel’s leading non-governmental humanitarian aid group, is responding to a large-scale earthquake that struck Morocco late Friday night. The magnitude 6.8 earthquake has left over 1,000 people dead and at least 1,200 more injured, with search and rescue efforts still underway.

Initially, the organization will deliver urgently needed relief supplies in the affected area while assessing further needs in water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as mental health and psychosocial support.

The epicenter of Friday’s quake struck in the Al Haouz region, in Morocco's high Atlas Mountains. The earthquake took lives and damaged buildings across five provinces, notably affecting the country’s fourth-largest city, Marrakech, about 75 kilometers northeast of the epicenter. With large distances between mountain villages and roads cut off by debris and damage from the quake, the full extent of the damage is still unknown. Aftershocks are expected to continue for several weeks.

The IsraAID team is expected to arrive in Marrakech on Sunday, less than 48 hours after the earthquake. The team will travel to the worst-affected areas and partner with local NGOs to support vulnerable communities. IsraAID is in close contact with the Jewish community in Marrakech and exploring opportunities to partner in relief efforts. The organization will distribute relief items and assess additional needs based on its long-term experience in similar settings.

IsraAID has extensive experience responding to earthquakes around the world, including the in Türkiye-Syria earthquake in March of 2023, Haiti in 2021 and 2010, Indonesia in 2018, Nepal in 2015, Japan in 2011, and more.

IsraAID’s CEO, Yotam Polizer, said: “Our hearts go out to the communities in Morocco who have lost their homes and loved ones in this earthquake. We will work to provide immediate, essential aid in the wake of this disaster. We are committed to using our extensive experience responding to earthquakes and other disasters around the world to serve vulnerable people who have been affected by this crisis. Our emergency response team will be on the ground in the affected area, assessing the situation to see how we can best stand by these communities and promote resilience on the long road to recovery.”