We stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco
We, the members of the COP28 Coalition, a network of social movements, peoples organizations, and other civil society groups, stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco as they suffer the full brunt of the recent earthquake and its catastrophic impacts. We mourn the precious lives lost, most of whom were rural farmers and pastoralists, similar to us, our families, and our constituencies.
Last Friday, September 8, Morocco was devastated by its deadliest earthquake in more than a century, claiming at least 2,122 lives, with 2,421 individuals sustaining injuries. The epicenter of this powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake was located in the High Atlas Mountains and substantially damaged Morocco's cultural heritage sites, including the nearby historic city of Marrakesh and the High Atlas region's Tinmel Mosque. Marrakesh's 12th-century walls, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, were partially disfigured, and significant portions of the 700-hectare medina suffered damage.
The aftermath of the earthquake has left survivors struggling to find essentials such as food, water, and shelter, forcing many to spend the past 2 days with no roofs over their heads. Many of them have had to rescue their own relatives and neighbors, with government aid coming in slowly and infrequently, largely due to unpassable roads preventing aid and rescue from reaching the victims.
We call for the immediate and unconditional cancelation of the public debts of Morocco in the wake of this disaster. Servicing of debt has already been a big drain on Morroco's public coffers and its ability to deal with multiple crises. And now public funds are needed even more urgently for emergency relief and rebuilding. We call for non-debt creating unconditional humanitarian assistance - not through lending and other debt creating responses as has been often the case. Morocco's external debt has already accounted for 50.9% of the country's Nominal GDP in 2022, compared with the ratio of 47.4% in the previous year, and any additional "aid" in the form of debts will exacerbate this situation.
Lastly, we speak to all progressive movements and civil society actors in Morocco and Africa, our hearts are with you. We are ready to mobilize and collaborate with you in the lead-up to the Global Week of Action for Debt, Economic, and Climate Justice on October 9-16 and towards COP28 in December in the coming weeks. If you are open and interested, please reach out to us through the COP28 Coalition Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through our Steering Committee, represented by Lidy Nacpil (Inacpil@gmail.com).
COP28 Coalition Communications