A brother and sister search the remains of the sister's home following the deadly earthquake on September 10, 2023 in Moulay Brahim, Morocco.

More than 3,000 people were killed and thousands more are injured, and in need of humanitarian aid, since a powerful earthquake struck Morocco on Friday 8 September.

With a magnitude of 6.8, the earthquake’s epicentre was in the High Atlas mountains, around 72km south-west of Marrakech. It destroyed buildings, infrastructure and roads, making rescue efforts very challenging. Many thousands of people have lost their homes and loved-ones. 

Women and girls are especially vulnerable since the earthquake struck, living in exposed spaces without either security or protection. They urgently need safe shelter, particularly with winter coming.

ActionAid is working with our partner organisations in Morocco to distribute essential supplies in some of the hardest-to-reach mountain villages, including food, water, clothes and toiletry kits for families.

We urgently need to reach more people. Please donate today.

Morocco earthquake: ActionAid's response

ActionAid has been working in collaboration with partner organisations in Morocco for more than 20 years. 

We have partnered with Enterprise Social Maroc, Maroc Sans Frontières and the women’s association of Tamghart Noudrar, to distribute supplies in one of the worst-hit areas in the Atlas Mountains. 

Distributing supplies

So far we’ve distributed dignity kits and safety information leaflets to 1,000 women in communities in Tahanout, Asni and the Imlil Valley. 

Each dignity kit contains a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sanitary towels, gel, soap, wipes and underwear.  

Safety information leaflets 

The safety leaflets contain information in Arabic and Berber on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. We know from our work in emergencies that women and girls are often at risk of attempted trafficking and offers of early marriage after disasters and in crisis situations. 

Psychosocial support

The Italian NGO, Soleterre is working alongside ActionAid to offer psychosocial support by psychologists for families who may be traumatised from the earthquake and its aftermath. 

Pressing needs in Morocco after the earthquake

Zeinab, 32, travelled from Casablanca to help her family after the earthquake. Now living in a refugee camp in  a small town at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, she told us what the most pressing needs are for displaced people.

"These tents are good just for a couple of months. We need something sturdier, like a caravan. And winter clothes because it's going to get cold soon. Where are these people going to sleep when winter comes? When the rains come?

"Children are not going to school and that's not a good thing. They must go back to school, so they don't lose the year.

"Everyone is in shock, but children and the elderly are more affected. My grandmother who survived had to be admitted to hospital because she is suffering of hypertension".


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How we're supporting women and girls in Morocco

ActionAid UK's chief executive, Halima Begum said:  

Women and children are in critical need of safe shelter. While families want to return home, many have seen their houses completely destroyed and we have far too many vulnerable people still living in exposed spaces, without either security or protection.   

The trauma and fear associated with the earthquake is also a huge impediment to the safe return of families. People here have experienced unimaginable tragedy and loss. Any recovery plan must include emotional support to help those affected by this disaster retrieve some degree of normality in their lives.   

Of course, women and girls have very particular needs in emergencies that are far too often overlooked or forgotten, and we’re seeing this in Morocco now.  In particular, access to period products and underwear is essential.   

Much of the emergency response so far has focussed on food and temporary shelter, which are of course important. But the provision of period products would go a long way to help restore the dignity of women and girls still living in rudimentary and temporary shelters."

About ActionAid

ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty.

Our dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. We are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want.

We operate in rural and urban communities across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

We're committed to ending the cycle of violence in communities around the world, enabling women's economic empowerment, and supporting women's and girls' rights during humanitarian crises.

Where your money goes

90% of your donation will go directly to our Morocco Earthquake Appeal.

10% of your donation will be retained for ActionAid’s Emergency Action Fund which will only be used for ensuring we are prepared and able to respond quickly and more effectively to future emergencies and crises.

If the total amount raised for this appeal exceeds the funds needed for the response, ActionAid will transfer the remaining balance to the Emergency Action Fund. All Gift Aid claimed on donations will fund ActionAid’s work across the world, wherever the need is greatest.


Top photo: Image: A brother and sister search the remains of the sister's home following the deadly earthquake on September 10, 2023 in Moulay Brahim, Morocco. Carl Court/Getty 

Page updated 5 October 2023