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Morocco to spend $11.7bn on five-year post-quake reconstruction plan

September 20, 2023 at 7:09 pm

A view of destroyed buildings as search and rescue efforts continue after 7 magnitude earthquake in Ait Othmane town of Boulemane, Morocco on September 12, 2023 [Said Echarif/Anadolu Agency]

Morocco plans to spend at least 120 billion dirhams ($11.7 billion) in a post-earthquake reconstruction plan over the next five years, the royal palace said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck on 8 September, killing more than 2,900 people, mostly in the hard-to-reach villages of the High Atlas Mountains.

The plan would target 4.2 million people in the worst-hit provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Taroudant, Marrakech, Ouarzazate and Azizlal, the royal palace said, following a meeting of King Mohammed VI with government and army officials.

The plan covers re-housing and the upgrade of infrastructure in a way that is conducive to social and economic development in the quake-hit areas, it said in the statement.

READ: China sends cash relief to help quake-hit Morocco

The quake-stricken areas are among Morocco’s poorest, with many remote villages lacking proper roads and public services.

The royal palace said the plan would be funded by the government’s budget, international aid and by a fund set up in response to the quake.

The fund has, so far, received some $700 million in donations.

Last week, the palace said that 50,000 houses were known to have been damaged and that authorities would provide shelter and 30,000 dirhams ($3,000) to affected households. It also pledged to offer reconstruction aid of 140,000 dirhams for collapsed homes and 80,000 for damaged ones.

READ: IMF to grant $1.3bn loan to quake-hit Morocco