Vulnerable children in earthquake-ravaged Morocco urgently need food, water and emotional care

10 September 2023

Plan International is devastated to hear that a 6.8 magnitude earthquake has struck Morocco. As a picture of the damage unfolds, our thoughts are with children and their families.

With more than 2,000 deaths already reported, and many more injured – it is critical that survivors are reached urgently and that food, water and shelter are delivered without delay.

“From experience in these terrible early days, basic needs must be met quickly,” says Dr Unni Krishnan, Global Humanitarian Director at Plan International. 

The powerful earthquake struck in the Atlas Mountain range on Saturday, 8 September, with an aftershock 19 minutes later. The widespread devastation, particularly in rural areas, makes rescue efforts much harder with roads and homes reduced to rubble and vital services destroyed.

“These are frightening times. After an earthquake, many sleep outside for fear of recurrent tremors. It is critical to address the emotional needs of children along with other lifesaving assistance. In the initial hours, search and rescue efforts must be the top priority, and life-saving medical assistance, food, clean water and sanitation. As an organisation with widespread experience in emergency response we stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco and all involved in rescue and relief efforts,” Dr Krishnan continued.

“After an earthquake, children are often the most vulnerable, especially children who have lost their parents and young girls separated from family and friends and displaced from their homes. Relief efforts must place children, and the most vulnerable, first.”

Emergencies, Child protection in emergencies