On September 8, 2023, a devastating earthquake took place in Morocco, killing thousands of people and injuring thousands more.
Many in the country’s mountainous communities are still unable to access communication, medical help, or supplies from the outside at the time of writing (September 11) and relief is urgently needed for those affected in remote communities of the High Atlas Mountains.
How to help
Support those affected by donating to charities working on the ground, like those mentioned below. While it rarely makes sense to travel into a disaster zone in the immediate aftermath of a crisis, tourism is the biggest source of revenue for Morocco, and future trips to the country will bring in much-needed funds for relief. So, if you have a trip planned to Morocco, pause before you cancel. It may be better to postpone; always check the latest US State Department information and your insurance policy. And please share this article with links to the dedicated relief funds currently powering emergency aid.
Where to donate
The charity arm of Intrepid Travel has acted quickly to set up a dedicated appeal providing support to its long-term local NGO partners in Morocco, Education for All and the High Atlas Foundation, who are on the ground working with local communities. This includes providing those impacted with essential provisions such as food, shelter, clean water, and medical supplies. The Intrepid Foundation will match donations up to £50,000 (about $62,000 USD) while covering the foundation’s administrative costs, ensuring 100 percent of donations go directly to recovery efforts.
“Many people in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and Marrakech are suffering unimaginably after Friday’s devastating earthquake. As well as being my beloved home country, Morocco is one of Intrepid’s most popular destinations, and we want to do everything we can to support local communities in the midst of this crisis,” Zina Bencheikh, managing director EMEA of Intrepid Travel, told Conde Nast Traveller UK. “Our emergency appeal is raising funds for two very special partners, Education for All and the High Atlas Foundation. Both are located in the part of the country most affected by the earthquake. The Intrepid Foundation will match donations, so please give generously.”
This charity hosts dedicated boarding houses which help hundreds of girls complete their studies. It was set up by one of the founders of the eco-lodge Kasbah Du Toubkal, and the team have launched a dedicated crisis appeal through Global Giving. “There has been significant damage to all of the boarding houses,” Mike McHugo, founder of Discover Ltd and Kasbah Du Toubkal, said. “Since this happened outside of term time, we are still awaiting updates from the girls who were back in their villages.” In addition to repairing houses, they anticipate emergency and longer-term support for the girls and their families. Contributions will aid the short-term and long-term projects needed to rebuild the homes and help the devastated local communities.
This Moroccan association and nonprofit organization has an extensive network among the most affected communities in the High Atlas region. With years of experience transporting supplies to these remote villages, they are uniquely equipped to transport and distribute essential supplies for disaster relief.
Fund the rescue teams on the ground with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, providing search and rescue support through their Disaster Response Emergency Fund.
Kasbah Tamadot is Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition luxury hotel in the mountainous region worst affected—Virgin Unite has launched this Emergency Appeal fund to support the local community.
We have recommended charities we know and trust, but to do your own due diligence, you can always turn to Charity Navigator for more information on the aid organizations we’ve linked to.
This article was originally published on Condé Nast Traveller UK.