Earthquake in Morocco, refused aid reveals international relations


In Morocco Rescuers are working to rescue those left under the rubble and help those left homeless after the powerful earthquake. Numerous countries, including Italy, immediately offered assistance to the Moroccan population.

King Mohammed VI but only accepted help from Spain, Qatar, Great Britain, United Arab Emirates And Czech Republic. The door was slammed in the faces of all other countries. The Moroccan Interior Minister said the choice was made after a careful assessment of local needs, adding: “A lack of coordination in such cases would be counterproductive“.

Earthquake in Morocco, aid accepted from only four countries

According to a preliminary estimate by the United Nations, 6.8 magnitude earthquake It had a direct impact on at least 300,000 people across a large part of the territory.

Despite the extent of the damage, the Moroccan government preferred it for the moment Ask for help from a limited number of countries. Moroccan authorities said on Sunday they had accepted cooperation from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the United Kingdom and Spain. The Czech Republic later announced that it had also received a request for aid from the Moroccan government.


Spain demonstrated its solidarity by sending them to Morocco 86 highly trained rescuers and eight dogs specializing in search and rescue. These were deployed with the aim of providing immediate and vital assistance in the search and rescue of earthquake survivors.

The leader of the members of the Spanish rescue team emphasized that the mobilization of his team responded to a specific point This was requested by the Moroccan authorities.

Great Britain

The UK announced yesterday that it had deployed a highly specialized team consisting of 60 search and rescue expertsaccompanied by four dogs trained to search among the rubble.

In addition, a medical team of four professionals will be sent for assessment Providing medical assistance to earthquake victims. Russ Guaden, the head of the British rescue team, issued a statement on his team’s presence in Morocco, stressing that their support would be closely coordinated with the Moroccan authorities to provide comprehensive support and maximize rescue efforts.


The mayor Khaled Abdullah Al HamidiHead of the Qatari rescue team, arrived in Marrakech last Sunday along with a rescue team to help deal with the aftermath of the earthquake.

The commander said that all members of his team will strive to provide assistance to the Moroccan authorities in accordance with the agreements reached through the communication channels and the agreed coordination process.

United Arab Emirates

Although there are no figures on the number of men sent, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Minister of Defense of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, ordered Dubai Police rescue teams to urgently send assistance to support rescue efforts in Morocco. In addition, he ordered the creation of a humanitarian airlift to enable charities affiliated with the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives Foundation to send humanitarian assistance, including food and shelter, to populations affected by the Morocco earthquake.

Czech Republic

Yesterday, the Czech Republic also announced that it had received a request for help from Morocco: the country’s officials said they would send approximately 70 members of a rescue team After receiving an official request from the Moroccan government, he was trained to search the rubble. Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochova said three military aircraft were ready to transport the team.

Who rejected Morocco: the no to France and the millions of euros from the European Union

What about all the other countries? Although many proposed themselves, Morocco did not accept their suggestions. The EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, allocated one million euros to help the population in the hours after the tragedy. explain:

The tragic earthquake in Morocco has caused terrible suffering and loss of life. To express the EU’s solidarity with the Moroccan people, we are releasing funds €1 million to address the most urgent needs of the most affected part of the population

However, the suggestion fell on deaf ears. In Germanya team of 50 rescuers had gathered at Cologne-Bonn airport and were ready to head to Morocco to offer their help. However, in the absence of clear instructions, rescuers were temporarily sent home to await further clarification from Moroccan authorities. Similar situations are emerging in other countries and there is uncertainty about how and whether the United Nations-coordinated major disaster relief platform, which includes more than 3,500 responders from multiple nations, will be deployed. Italy, through the Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, It said it was ready to send relief and health teams.

The case of France: the reasons for Morocco’s refusal

Among the wastes that made the most noise was that of France. Tense relations with the former colonial power are reflected in Morocco’s choice of humanitarian diplomacy given the numerous unresolved issues between the two countries, such as the dispute over the status of Western Sahara. Rabat claims full sovereignty over the area, although France is reluctant to recognize Morocco as part of the country. It is no coincidence that the countries granted access to the rescue operations took a stance favorable to Morocco, such as Spain.

But maybe there is more than just that: for Sylvie Brunel, a geography professor who worked for the NGO Action Against Hunger, another reason for refusing aid is proof that it is a sovereign state. The teacher explained:

As an emerging country that sees itself as an interlocutor of Europe and aspires to the status of a regional power in Africa, Rabat wants to show that it is sovereign, capable of directing its own search and rescue operations, and not pretending that would be We were a poor, wounded country that wants to save the whole world out of charity.

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