The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development has extended an emergency assistance grant of $250,000 to Morocco to help purchase relief items for victims of a massive earthquake.
Registering 6.5 on the Richter Scale, the quake is the most powerful one to have hit the area in four decades, and has taken hundreds of lives and rendered thousands homeless.
Six villages have been severely affected by the earthquake, among them the Mediterranean port city of Al-Hoceima and the village of Ait Kamara, which was completely destroyed. The epicenter was in the Strait of Gibraltar separating Morocco and Spain, some 300 kilometers northeast of Rabat. Exposure to freezing night temperatures and rain poses a real threat to the thousands of people forced to sleep outdoors in makeshift shelters.
The Government of Morocco has requested international assistance to help the thousands of individuals without homes. United Nations appeals have called for items such as tents, blankets, medication, food, household materials, clothing, heating equipment and first aid kits.
The OPEC Fund's contribution to the aid effort will be used to support emergency operations, and will be channeled through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. — (menareport.com)
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