CRS Responds to Victims of Morocco Earthquake

Catholic Relief Services
Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is committing an initial allocation of $50,000 to provide tents, blankets and mattresses to victims of the recent earthquake in Al Hoceima, Northern Morocco. The aid to families uprooted by the 6.5 magnitude quake, which killed close to 600 people and displaced 20,000, will be provided through CRS' local partner, the Red Crescent Society of Morocco.

"As the people in Al Hoceima and the surrounding areas are struggling to provide for their most basic needs, we are doing what we can to respond and are praying for the countless grieving families in this incredibly difficult time," said Suzanne Manzer, Catholic Relief Services Country Representative for Morocco.

CRS' contribution follows the Red Crescent Society of Morocco's recent appeal for $2.3 million to provide assistance to those injured and left homeless by the earthquake, which struck on February 24. The appeal, based on a preliminary assessment of the needs, aims to provide 1,500 tents, 30,000 blankets, 15,000 mattresses, 6,000 kitchen sets, heaters and food items to the earthquake survivors, thousands of whom have slept out in the open in fear of after-shocks.

Catholic Relief Services has helped the poor and disadvantaged in Morocco since the country gained independence in 1956. Much of CRS' work in the country focused on food assistance and relief until the late 1980s, when the agency launched a series of development programs in the areas of water and health, as well as the country's first micro-credit program. CRS continues to work with local Moroccan development associations, accompanying them in their institutional growth by providing training and technical assistance.

Catholic Relief Services is marking its 60th year as the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. The agency provides assistance to people in 94 countries and territories on the basis of need, not race, creed or nationality.

For more information, or to contact Catholic Relief Services, see their website at: www.catholicrelief.org

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