Fundraising efforts for Morocco’s earthquake victims reach $1 billion

Morocco announced on Tuesday that just weeks after the Sept. 8 devastating earthquake, contributions to a special bank account for the victims had reached about $1 billion.

“Total proceeds reached 10 billion dirhams (about $1 billion), two weeks after the special account was set up,” Abdellatif Jouahri, governor of the central bank of Morocco, told a press conference in the capital Rabat.

“After the earthquake financial needs become clear, we will decide the best type of financing to resort to: the state budget, the earthquake fund, or international financing,” Jouahri said.

Jouahri also explained that Morocco can also negotiate with the International Monetary Fund to obtain disaster financing, “with a value of $600 million in the first withdrawal.”

“It is too early to know the cost of the earthquake, and we have to wait for the end of the year at least,” he added.

The Moroccan government on Sept. 10 announced the establishment of special bank accounts to collect donations from citizens and local businesses to provide assistance to affected people.

The Moroccan Royal Court said on Sept. 14 that 50,000 houses collapsed completely or partially from the deadly quake.

In a statement, the court said direct financial assistance of 140,000 dirhams (about $14,000) will be granted for totally collapsed buildings, and 80,000 dirhams (some $8,000) for partially collapsed houses.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed and many others injured when the magnitude 7 quake, the country’s strongest ever, struck the North African country on Sept. 8, according to official figures.

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