Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries that have already provided humanitarian aid

Middle East shows solidarity with Morocco and Libya

Hay que bajar el peso de la foto. El pie de foto original está en la misma foto que hay en el editor.
REUTERS/OMAR JARHMAN - A road damaged due to storm and heavy rains in Shahhat

The catastrophes suffered by Libya and Morocco last weekend are already being described by Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the WHO (World Health Organisation), as natural disasters of "epic" proportions.

Local search teams in both countries are being assisted by rescuers from Spain, the UK and Qatar. The aftermath of Friday's earthquake in Morocco and Sunday's floods in Libya have prompted Arab League countries to respond together.  

It was the most devastating earthquake to hit the North African nation in more than 100 years and the most devastating to hit the country since 1960

So far, the quake has destroyed entire villages, killed at least 3,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless. Isolated farming communities in Morocco's Al-Haouz province have been cut off and many have to rely on themselves, so the speed of rescue efforts in that region is vital. 

Moroccan citizens have shown great resilience in difficult situations. However, while rescue teams are working hard to find survivors, experts believe it is essential to regain a sense of normality. 

REUTERS/HANNAH McKAY - Un hombre se encuentra en medio de escombros después de un terremoto mortal en Talat NYaaqoub, en Marruecos, el 12 de septiembre de 2023
REUTERS/HANNAH McKAY - A man stands amid rubble after a deadly earthquake in Talat NYaaqoub, Morocco September 12, 2023

During the course of the disaster response by aid agencies and donor countries, another disaster was unfolding to the east in Libya, which had been devastated by the crisis. 

Storm Daniel destroyed two river dams on Sunday afternoon. The dams released a large amount of water that swept through the Mediterranean coastal city of Derna, sweeping buildings, cars and people into the sea. The situation in Libya is extremely complicated. Mohamed Thabit, a citizen journalist from Tripoli, told Arab News: "We have been through a lot: conflict, political ups and downs, and now these floods are adding to the chaos". 

At the time of publication, the death toll is over 7,000 people and more than 10,000 are missing. 


Hay que bajar el peso de la foto. El pie de foto original está en la misma foto que hay en el editor.
AFP/HO/OFICINA DE MEDIOS DEL PRIMER MINISTRO DE LIBIA (BENGASI) - Destroyed vehicles and damaged buildings in the eastern city of Benghazi in the aftermath of the Mediterranean storm Daniel

The earthquake has multiple economic effects. Although Marrakech is a significant tourist attraction, its contribution to Morocco's economic development is not the main one. The Rabat-Casablanca axis, which is the country's industrial engine, will play the leading role. The developing Tangier area, together with its thriving port, presents great economic potential. 

The government has insisted that the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) will go ahead as planned from 9 to 15 October, although the earthquake will affect the Marrakech economy. Morocco's economy before the earthquake had demonstrated resilience to global challenges. The nation had successfully weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and inflationary pressures. Morocco had become an important location for foreign direct investment in North Africa. 

Hay que bajar el peso de la foto. El pie de foto original está en la misma foto que hay en el editor.

Arab League support 

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Tunisia and Turkey offer assistance to Libya and Morocco. 

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Cumbre de la Liga Árabe en El Cairo
PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Arab League summit in Cairo

In a statement to the UN (United Nations), Tamar Ramadan, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' delegation to Libya, said, "The humanitarian needs are enormous and far beyond the capacities of the Libyan Red Crescent and even the capacities of the government." "It's a big shock because there hasn't been a storm like this in the region for as long as we can remember," she said. 

PHOTO/UME - España envió 56 socorristas y cuatro perros de búsqueda a Marruecos tras el potente terremoto que mató a más de 2.000 personas tras recibir una solicitud formal de ayuda de Rabat
PHOTO/UME - Spain sent 56 rescuers and four search dogs to Morocco following the powerful earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people after receiving a formal request for help from Rabat

Several countries have provided aid and deployed rescue teams to Derna and isolated villages across Morocco to help survivors and recover the bodies of loved ones from the rubble, amid growing global concern over both disasters. 

Saudi Arabia 

PHOTO/Bandar Algaloud/Cortesía de la Corte Real Saudita - El príncipe heredero saudita Mohammed bin Salman durante una entrevista con el Centro de Radiodifusión de Oriente Medio (MBC) en el Riad, su capital
PHOTO/Bandar Algaloud/Cortesía de la Corte Real Saudita -
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during an interview with the Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC) in the capital Riyadh

Saudi Arabia expressed its support for "Libya, its brotherly people and the victims of the floods". Earlier, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered assistance flights to Morocco, and the Crown Prince called King Mohammed VI to declare the Kingdom's solidarity with the Moroccan people. 


AP/VASILY FEDOSENKO - El presidente egipcio Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
AP/VASILY FEDOSENKO - Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-day mourning period and ordered military personnel to provide humanitarian aid, including relief teams, rescue teams and shelter camps for Libyans and Moroccans. 

United Arab Emirates 

PHOTO/BANDAR ALGALOUD - Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, presidente de Emiratos Árabes Unidos
PHOTO/BANDAR ALGALOUD - Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan ordered the deployment of relief and search and rescue teams to Libya, deploying two aid planes carrying 150 tonnes of food, aid and medical supplies.