King Mohammed VI presided over a working session at the Royal Palace in Rabat aimed at the recovery of affected areas and the rehabilitation of housing, with an investment of 120 billion dirhams (11 billion euros)

Morocco is working hard on the reconstruction of the regions hit by the earthquake

PHOTO/MAP (AGENCIA DE PRENSA MARROQUÍ) - El rey Mohamed VI preside una reunión de trabajo dedicada a la activación del programa de emergencia para el realojamiento de las víctimas del desastre del terremoto en el Palacio Real de Rabat
PHOTO/MAP (MOROCCO PRESS AGENCY) - King Mohammed VI chairs a working meeting dedicated to the activation of the emergency programme for the relocation of earthquake disaster victims at the Royal Palace in Rabat

Morocco is still recovering from the terrible earthquake of 8 September that shook several important enclaves such as Al-Haouz, Marrakech, Taroudant, Chichaoua, Ouarzazate and the High Atlas Mountains in general, a mountainous area that is difficult to access. 

The earthquake was devastating and left around 3,000 people dead and more than 5,600 injured, as well as a great deal of personal property damage and a number of infrastructures badly affected. 

AFP/BULENT KILIC - Escombros de una casa en un pueblo entre Marrakech y Taroudant en la cordillera del Atlas el 17 de septiembre de 2023
AFP/BULENT KILIC - Debris of a house in a village between Marrakech and Taroudant in the Atlas Mountains on 17 September 2023

King Mohammed VI, who shortly after the earthquake took place took the lead in the work sessions to coordinate the rescue of victims and emergency work, chaired a working meeting at the Royal Palace in Rabat on Wednesday devoted to the reconstruction and general improvement of the devastated areas, as reported by the official Moroccan news agency MAP. The working meeting was attended by Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, Advisor to His Majesty the King Fouad Ali El Himma, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah, Minister of National Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance in charge of the Budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, as well as Lieutenant General Mohammed Berrid, Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces and Commander of the Southern Zone.  

"This new working session is an extension of the High Directives given by the Sovereign at the meetings of September 9 and 14, which laid the groundwork for a thoughtful, integrated and ambitious programme aimed at providing a strong, coherent, rapid and proactive response," according to official state information. 

AFP/FETHI BELAID - Esta imagen muestra casas destruidas en la ciudad de Afella Ighir, afectada por el terremoto el 17 de septiembre de 2023
AFP/FETHI BELAID - This image shows destroyed houses in the quake-hit town of Afella Ighir on 17 September 2023

The estimated budget for the rehabilitation programme is 120 billion dirhams (around 11 billion euros) over a five-year period. According to the MAP agency, the first version of the integrated, multi-sectoral programme presented to the Alawite sovereign covers the six provinces and prefectures affected by the earthquake (Marrakech, Al-Haouz, Taroudant, Chichaoua, Azilal and Ouarzazate), targeting a population of 4.2 million. 

The programme is aimed at rebuilding housing and rehabilitating and improving infrastructure, following the emergency plan drawn up at the inter-ministerial meeting chaired by King Mohammed VI on 14 September. All of this is aimed at the social and economic development of the most affected areas.

AFP/FETHI BELAID - Casas destruidas en el pueblo de Imi NTala el 17 de septiembre de 2023, tras el potente terremoto de magnitud 6,8
AFP/FETHI BELAID - Houses destroyed in the village of Imi NTala on 17 September 2023, following a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake

The programme is structured as follows: 

  1. Resettlement of the victims of the natural disaster, reconstruction of housing and rehabilitation of infrastructures. 
  2. Improvement of the territories and access to them.  
  3. Accelerating the reduction of social deficits, particularly in the mountainous areas affected by the earthquake. 
  4. The promotion of economic activity and job creation, as well as support for local social initiatives.  

The programme also includes, on the instructions of the Alawi monarch, the creation in each affected area of a large platform of basic necessities, such as tents, blankets, beds, medicines, food, etc., in order to be able to cope with possible natural disasters. 

REUTERS/EMILIE MADI - Vista exterior de un campamento de ayuda militar para las personas que fueron desplazadas tras el mortal terremoto en Amizmiz, Marruecos, 17 de septiembre de 2023
REUTERS/EMILIE MADI - An outside view of a military relief camp for people displaced after the deadly earthquake in Amizmiz, Morocco, 17 September 2023

King Mohammed VI also instructed the Moroccan government led by Aziz Akhannouch to attend to the specific needs of each region, according to their particular needs. The aim is to achieve the objective of this programme of reconstruction and general improvement of the disaster-stricken regions quickly, efficiently, rigorously and with convincing results, so that it becomes a model of integrated and balanced territorial development, as reported by the MAP agency. 

The programme will be financed by appropriations allocated from the general state budget, by contributions from local authorities and from the Special Solidarity Account opened by the Executive to deal with the effects of the earthquake, as well as by special donations and aid from international cooperation.  

 - Desplazados del terremoto comen en un campamento militar tras el mortal terremoto en Amizmiz, Marruecos, el 17 de septiembre de 2023
REUTERS/EMILIE MADI - Displaced earthquake survivors eat at a military camp after a deadly earthquake in Amizmiz, Morocco, 17 September 2023

King Mohammed VI also ordered the Hassan II Fund, dedicated to the implementation of charitable socio-economic projects, to allocate 2 billion dirhams (just over 180 million euros) to finance the reconstruction programme.