How International Aid Can Help the Children Affected by the Moroccan Earthquake

The devastating earthquake that struck Morocco two weeks ago has left countless children traumatized and in desperate need of assistance. The 6.8-magnitude earthquake, the strongest to hit Morocco in over 60 years, has resulted in the death of more than 2,900 individuals and the injury of over 5,000 others. Remote villages, such as Amizmiz, have suffered the most, with over 50,000 homes destroyed or partially destroyed. The impact of the earthquake on the lives of children, like 12-year-old Malak, is profound and ongoing.

Malak, the oldest of four siblings, is determined to pursue her dream of becoming a dentist. However, her dreams have been put on hold as she is currently living in a makeshift tent without access to education. Malak, along with nearly 100,000 other children, is grappling with the aftermath of the earthquake and the mental trauma it has caused. The UN children’s agency, Unicef, warns that aftershocks are likely to continue, posing further risks to the physical and mental well-being of children and their families.

The immediate needs of the affected families are focused on essential items such as food, money, and proper shelter. Plastic tents provided by the Moroccan government offer little protection against the harsh weather conditions, leaving families vulnerable as winter approaches. The earthquake has left families, like Malak’s, in dire situations where basic amenities such as toilets are absent, increasing the risk of illnesses.

While the Moroccan government has pledged to spend 120bn dirhams to rebuild destroyed areas and provide financial aid to the victims, the timeframe for these plans remains uncertain. So far, Morocco has only accepted aid from four countries – Qatar, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK, highlighting the need for international support.

Financial aid and resources are crucial to rebuilding the affected areas, but it is important to recognize that the impact of the earthquake extends beyond physical infrastructure. The mental health of the victims, especially children, cannot be overlooked. Many children, like Malak and her sister Doaa, have been deeply traumatized by the earthquake, experiencing nightmares and fear with each aftershock. To address this, volunteers on the ground are providing support through activities such as drawing and writing to help the children express their emotions and cope with their trauma.

International aid should focus not only on rebuilding infrastructure but also on providing comprehensive support for the emotional well-being of the affected children. Mental health professionals and resources should be prioritized to ensure the long-term recovery of the traumatized children. While the Moroccan authorities are doing their best to alleviate the suffering, international assistance and collaboration are crucial in making a lasting impact.

In conclusion, the devastating earthquake in Morocco has left thousands of children traumatized and in need of immediate assistance. The emotional well-being of these children must be prioritized along with the physical reconstruction efforts. International aid can play a vital role in providing the necessary resources, financial support, and mental health assistance to help the children recover and rebuild their lives. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by this tragedy.