Morocco to spend $11.7 billion on post-earthquake reconstruction

Plan would target 4.2 million people in the worst-hit provinces

At least one million people have been affected by the September 8 earthquake in Morocco that killed 3,000. AFP
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Morocco plans to spend $11.7 billion in a post-earthquake reconstruction programme over the next five years, the Royal Palace said on Wednesday.

The plan would target 4.2 million people in the worst-hit provinces, where tens of thousands of buildings have been damaged or destroyed. By one estimate, at least one million people have been directly affected by the earthquake on September 8 that killed about 3,000 and injured 5,000.

The announcement follows the news that the IMF and World Bank plan to hold a meeting in Marrakesh on October 9, scheduled before the disaster, but it will now focus on reconstruction efforts.

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank president Ajay Banga and Moroccan Economy Minister Nadia Alaoui said they would make some changes to their meeting plans to adapt content “to the circumstances” of the disaster.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI said last week that the country would “conduct the reconstruction process in harmony with the region's heritage and with respect for its specific architectural features”.

Wednesday's cabinet "working session" included discussions on rebuilding homes and reconstructing infrastructure, said Morocco's state news agency, Map.

It also focused on relocating people who have been affected by the earthquake, and improving the economic situation. The king also ordered the establishment, in each of the affected areas, of reserve supplies such as tents, blankets, beds, medicine and food.

Last week, the royal palace said that 50,000 houses were known to have been damaged and authorities would provide shelter and $3,000 to affected households. It also pledged to offer reconstruction aid of $13,600 for collapsed homes and $7.800 for damaged ones.

Since the September 8 quake, the king has chaired two emergency response meetings with officials in Rabat, visited a hospital in Marrakesh and donated blood as appeals for donors were being made.

The 6.8-magnitude quake was the deadliest in Morocco since 1960.

Updated: September 20, 2023, 5:52 PM