Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomesingaporeSingapore Red Cross pledges $68k to support humanitarian aid for Morocco quake...

Singapore Red Cross pledges $68k to support humanitarian aid for Morocco quake victims

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) is pledging US$50,000 (S$68,000) in humanitarian aid to support ongoing relief efforts by the Moroccan Red Crescent (MRC) following Friday’s deadly earthquake in Morocco.

The magnitude-6.8 quake struck in a mountainous area 72km south-west of the tourist city of Marrakesh, according to the United States Geological Survey.

More than 2,000 people have been killed so far, said the authorities on Saturday, as emergency services and troops scramble to reach remote mountain villages where victims are still feared to be trapped.

The Singapore Government will also contribute US$50,000 to support SRC’s public fund-raising efforts towards the humanitarian crisis, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a statement on Sunday.

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has written to his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita to offer his condolences over the earthquake.

In the letter, Dr Balakrishnan said he was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and damage the quake has inflicted on the city of Marrakesh and surrounding areas.

“On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to the families of those affected by the disaster,” he wrote. “I wish for the speedy recovery of those who were injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Morocco during this difficult time.”

MFA also said that it has contacted e-registered Singaporeans in the affected areas.

There are currently no reports of any Singaporeans affected by the disaster, it added.

Separately, in a statement on Sunday, the SRC said that it has activated its Restoring Family Links service, which can help Singapore residents locate their immediate family members who may have been affected and who they might have difficulty contacting.

The MRC is coordinating relief efforts closely with the local authorities to dispatch immediate relief items to the affected communities, said SRC.

The assistance provided by the MRC includes first aid, evacuation, transporting the wounded to hospital and psychological support.

First-aid trained volunteers and paramedics have also been deployed to the affected areas to render immediate first aid to those who are injured.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has also deployed emergency response units to assist with relief efforts, water sanitation and healthcare.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and injury, as well as damage to property and livelihoods, arising from the devastating disaster. We are in touch with our sister National Society, and we will continue to closely assess the situation as it evolves over the next few days, said SRC secretary-general and chief executive Benjamin William.

He added that SRC stands ready to provide further support to the emergency relief and recovery operations. This includes possibly deploying SRC’s responders on the ground.

In February, the SRC raised more than $1 million to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force also deployed a 68-member team to Turkey that helped in rescue operations over 10 days.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck on Feb 6 and the subsequent aftershocks left at least 50,000 dead.

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