On September 8, 2023, an earthquake left more than 2,900 dead and 5,500 injured in the provinces of Al Haouz, Taroudant, Azilal, Ouarzazate and Chichaoua. The tremors caused significant damage to homes and key infrastructure, collapsing wells, destroying agricultural terraces, making roads inaccessible, and leaving, in some cases, entire villages leveled and without access to water, food, or medical care.
Rural Moroccan communities have faced barriers to development for decades. Many villages identify clean water, education, and increased income as priority needs, and solutions have been designed and implemented toward these ends. Not only are communities grieving an immense, tragic loss of life, but they are facing the destruction of years of work toward social, environmental, and financial well-being. These communities do not have the resources to re-establish key infrastructure alone.
Immediately following the earthquake, thousands of families urgently needed food, water, and shelter. Within the first ten days, the High Atlas Foundation procured, transported, and distributed to 69 villages in 48 municipalities, directly supplying 3,872 families with 108 tons of urgently needed supplies. Our strategy involves a steady transition from short-term aid as we resume our long-term partnership with communities to rebuild infrastructure for sustainability and resilience.
We are working with communities to rebuild homes, repair roads, and reestablish water and agricultural infrastructure. We will continue to advance women's well-being through mental health care, access to legal aid, and literacy programs. Our long-term goal is to implement nature-based solutions that provide a pathway for financially viable, healthy, resilient communities.