Islamic Relief SA has called for South Africans to support its relief efforts in Morocco by donating essentials such as food, clean water, shelter and psychosocial support.
- Gift of the Givers says it will stand down if it does not receive a request for aid from Morocco.
- The organisation says it has had resources and personnel on standby since the earthquake struck at the weekend.
- The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says it is in discussions over sending a delegation to Morocco.
If a request for aid to earthquake-struck Morocco is not received by Wednesday, the Gift of the Givers will stand down.
Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman said the organisation was ready to give aid but did not want to “impose” on the Moroccan government.
“We have made it clear that we are not here to impose ourselves on them. If they require assistance, we have the support, the skill and expertise to come. We’ve been involved in eight earthquakes previously,” said Sooliman.
A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook Morocco on Friday, claiming the lives of almost 3 000 people so far.
Sooliman said the Gift of the Givers could offer emergency search-and-rescue aid, medical personnel and humanitarian aid.
We wait for the reply. If by [Wednesday] there is no reply forthcoming, we will stand down on the mission.
Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela said that when a country suffers a natural disaster, a call is often made to the international community for aid, not to other nation-states.
He said the department was in discussions with several aid organisations, including the Gift of the Givers, about possibly sending a humanitarian delegation to Morocco.
Meanwhile, Islamic Relief SA has called on South Africans to support its relief efforts in the region by donating essentials such as food, clean water, shelter and psychosocial support.
Islamic Relief SA has sent teams from its offices in countries neighbouring Morocco and is providing blankets and mattresses to displaced people while conducting rapid needs assessments in hard-hit villages in Adassil – where an estimated 5 000 buildings were destroyed – in the Chichaoua Province, some 80km from Marrakesh.
Islamic Relief SA programmes team member Hana el Abdallaoui said: “Unfortunately, we found an area where, out of the 80 people who lived in the village, only six survived. These are shocking numbers, and it just shows the magnitude of the damage. Every single house was absolutely destroyed.
“We met some locals who explained [the extent of] their loss. One of them lost 18 relatives. Another lady told us that she has no one now – she lost all her family. [In one of the villages] we visited, where 70 families live, 18 people died, [including] a pregnant lady who was supposed to give birth in the next few days.”
Many of the victims were killed in remote villages in the High Atlas mountains. Blocked roads are causing significant delays in ambulances reaching the wounded and, while officials scramble to clear debris, rescue and relief efforts are proving difficult in the mountainous terrain – with a high risk of landslides and large distances to cover.
On Tuesday, Sooliman visited the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)’s Bellville campus to meet staff members Elroy Cameron, Ncumisa Mayila, Mumtaz Francis and Raina Gihwala, who have all been selected to travel to Morocco to assist with disaster relief.
Sooliman told the CPUT team that their quick response to the Gift of the Giver’s request for help was appreciated, even though the relief organisation continues to await an official request from Moroccan officials.
He said a squad of nearly 30 rescue professionals from across the country was on standby.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/gift-of-the-givers-ready-to-help-earthquake-hit-morocco-but-does-not-want-to-impose-20230913
Publish date : 2023-09-13 13:21:53