St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund Sends Immediate Support to Morocco and Libya
Late last week, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck 44 miles southwest of Marrakesh in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It was the largest earthquake in the region in over a century. Initial reports are devastating, indicating that at least 2,900 people have died. As rescue efforts continue, that number is expected to climb. Over 300,000 people need immediate aid, including shelter, clean water, food, and medical assistance. Hundreds of aftershocks, including one registering 5.9, have been recorded.
The St Joseph Community Partnership Fund (Fund), the grantmaking foundation of Providence, has been monitoring the destruction and subsequent relief efforts. To that end, the Fund commits an immediate grant of $100,000 to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an organization with subject matter expertise and trusted relationships in the region.
CRS works with Caritas Rabat, a local relief organization whose teams mobilized within 24 hours to the most remote areas. The situation is evolving quickly, and Caritas Rabat is establishing priorities. Funding will support emergency shelter, food, water, hygiene supplies, blankets, medical assistance and counseling, and long-term home rebuilding and infrastructure recovery.
At the same time, Mediterranean Storm Daniel continued its path of devastation as it passed through Eastern Libya. Heavy rains caused dams to collapse, sending floodwaters as deep as 23 feet into Derna. 5,100 people have died in Derna, and an estimated 100 people in nearby cities. 30,000 people have been displaced. As of Wednesday, the city remains almost inaccessible to humanitarian aid workers. As is challenging with all disasters, historically marginalized populations inevitably become increasingly marginalized. The destruction in Libya is partially due to the ferocity of Mediterranean Storm Daniel and the country’s instability.
The Fund supports disaster response and resilience in Libya and commits an immediate grant of $100,000 to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). Through the Global Recovery Fund, CDP will focus on meeting the ongoing challenges of survivors and supporting their urgent basic needs, access to public health, safety and protection of basic rights, and mental health support. CDP efforts to support women, girls, and children as they often face increased risks of gender-based exclusion and exploitation during disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
The Fund focuses on the long-term recovery of the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health of poor and marginalized communities that often suffer the most following a disaster. We know that crisis and short-term acute services are vital to stabilization after any catastrophe. We partner with local, national, and international experts to provide immediate and culturally responsive needs while ensuring continuity of care while the community rebuilds and revitalizes.
We will continue to assess the ongoing situations in Morocco and Libya and engage our partners to understand the long-term recovery needs of the community. Anyone who feels called to aid in the relief and recovery efforts can do so through CRS or CDP directly.