IFRC makes emergency funding appeal to support Morocco quake victims

GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched an emergency appeal on Tuesday to raise 100 million Swiss francs ($112.3 million) to support victims of the earthquake in Morocco.

“In this appeal, we are seeking 100 million CHF to be able to deliver on the most pressing needs at this time,” including water, sanitation and shelter, Caroline Holt, global director for operations at IFRC, told reporters in Geneva.

“We need to make sure that we avoid a second wave of disaster.”

More than 2,800 people have been killed in Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in more than six decades, a 6.8 magnitude quake struck late on Friday in the High Atlas Mountains, with the epicentre 72 km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech.

Holt said that the IFRC had approved 1 million CHF in funding from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund immediately after the earthquake hit to support the Moroccan Red Crescent to provide immediate relief.

“This emergency response, as with many earthquakes, is a marathon,” she said.

“The people affected by the earthquake will need support for the weeks and months to come, and we will need to continue to show that solidarity and support not only now but in the future.”

($1 = 0.8908 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Rachel More & Simon Cameron-Moore)