A month ago, Morocco was hit by the strongest recorded earthquake in the country and the deadliest in 60 years. Close to three million people from the mountains near Marrakesh and surrounding areas were affected and EIB President Werner Hoyer immediately offered assistance to the Moroccan authorities in their efforts to rebuild. The EIB pledged €1 billion over the next three years to Morocco’s €12 billion post-earthquake reconstruction programme. In addition, a €250 000 donation through the EIB Institute will help cover much-needed psychosocial and trauma support which is a key area of concern following disasters.

The donation will go to Handicap International and Médecins du Monde, two NGOs specialised in such activities, .

Handicap International will target the most vulnerable populations affected by the earthquake, including those injured and/or suffering from pre-existing disabilities. Through civil society organizations and local partners, they will provide physical and functional rehabilitation services as well as psychological and psychosocial support for over 2400 direct and indirect beneficiaries over seven months.

Médecins du Monde Belgique will also target the mental health needs of the most vulnerable populations and the EIB supported intervention will directly provide 600 people – including also the training of humanitarian staff – psychological support, care and aid, and awareness programs on sexual health and rights. This programme will be implemented in two-phases over 12 months, to achieve short-term actions in response to the emergency and long-term benefits.

EIB Vice-President Mourinho said: “As a long-standing partner of Morocco, we aim to contribute to laying the foundations for a brighter, stronger and more resilient future across all the regions in Morocco affected by the September earthquake. EIB’s operations have always focused on improved people’s lives by providing access to clean water and energy, finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, sustainable mobility, health and education, and we will continue to do that. In addition, I am pleased to announce this €250 000 donation through the EIB Institute to support the EIB’s efforts in helping the Moroccan population recover from this terrible disaster.”

Shiva Dustdar, Director, EIB Institute said, Rebuilding following a disaster is not only a matter of infrastructure. Human minds take a long time healing and the WHO estimates that the percentage of persons concerned by mental health problems and psychological distress may almost double in emergency contexts. We hope that our donation will help alleviate some of the human suffering following this devastating earthquake.”

The Institute regularly provides disaster relief grants and donates decommissioned IT equipment from the EIB. In 2023, EIB donations through the Institute supported populations impacted by the war in Ukraine, the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria and floods in Slovenia