“It’s terrible what happened. I hope that help will be forthcoming, because these are difficult areas to navigate,” says a Moroccan Dutchman about the earthquake in Morocco. Now that people have recovered from the initial shock and contact has been made with family members and acquaintances, the first calls and initiatives are emerging to organize help.
For example, the Maroc Relief foundation started a donation page for emergency aid to Morocco this morning. Mohamed Bouyafa: “We received a call early this morning from a local partner in Marrakech with whom we do several projects. He indicated that the damage was not normal and asked if we wanted to take action.”
Already donated money
According to Bouyafa, money is already coming in. The foundation is also setting up collection points where people can hand in items such as blankets, water and clothing. “We also did that a few years ago, when there were floods in Morocco. We shipped the things we had collected here to Morocco. That is quite an undertaking, so we will prepare for that in the coming days.”
According to Bouyafa, it is now necessary to determine what Morocco needs, so that the organization can start collecting in a targeted manner. The foundation has several ongoing projects that raise money here to support people in Morocco. This mainly concerns single mothers.
Festival becomes a benefit
The Dutch Gnawa music festival in The Hague will become a benefit festival tonight to raise money for victims in Morocco. “The theme was already Marrakech in The Hague,” says festival director Mustapha Barbouch, “We will now donate a large part of the income.” 300 tickets were sold for the performances in the Royal Theater and the Korzo theater, but it is expected that more people will now attend.
The Partnership of Moroccan Dutch (SMN) is also considering fundraising campaigns for the victims. “We first need to know what is needed and then we make a plan to organize an aid operation,” SMN chairman Bouchaib Saadane told NOS on NPO Radio 1. “At the moment this is mainly medical aid.”
To see what role SMN can play, it will contact fellow organizations and institutions. “It is clear that something needs to be done.” SMN calls on the Dutch aid organizations behind Giro555 to start a national campaign.
The Red Cross has now opened Giro6868. This supports the Moroccan Red Crescent, whose people in Morocco help with first aid, transport to the hospital and support for people.
Dutch mayors with a Moroccan background, such as the mayor of Arnhem Ahmed Marcouch and the mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb, express their condolences.
Marcouch says in the Gelderlander that there are many people in Arnhem and the surrounding area who have fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers in the affected earthquake area. “We are in contact with this in Arnhem.”
The government is also prepared to provide help. The government could send an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR). Such a team consists of specialists in search and rescue operations (often with dogs), but also of nurses, doctors and construction engineers.
NOS reporter Lidwien Gevers spoke with several Moroccan Dutch people in Amsterdam about the earthquake:
- Dutch in Morocco: ‘Strange, dead atmosphere on the street’
- Morocco earthquake kills at least 1,000 and causes havoc
- King and Rutte express condolences about the Morocco earthquake