African Development Bank Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Service Delivery Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbadé (www.AfDB.org), has saluted the “courage, dedication and work” of Moroccan emergency teams deployed in the Al Haouz region following the devastating earthquake on 8 September.
Akin-Olugbadé, who was in Morocco as a participant in the 2023 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings, took time off to visit Ouirgane on Tuesday, 10 October, to tour one of the emergency mobile health units set up to treat victims of the disaster to ease pressure on hospitals in Marrakesh.
The earthquake killed nearly 3,000 people and injured more than 5,000.
“Our thoughts are with the victims of this earthquake,” said Akin-Olugbadé. “I am impressed by how quickly the Kingdom and the Moroccan people got to work to rebuild the country, despite losing loved ones.”
Morocco’s mobile medical units form part of the African Development Bank’s health sector interventions to provide better coverage in remote areas. Each unit provides patient-centred medical care through telemedicine involving general practitioners and specialists. These units are mobilised speedily to care for the injured in an emergency.
On behalf of the African Development Bank Group, Akin-Olugbadé expressed condolences to the victims’ families. She said she was “extremely impressed” by the effectiveness of the mobile health centres and the speed of their deployment during the disaster. She also lauded “the decisive leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI”.
At the Yacoub Al-Mansour dam located 30 kilometres from the earthquake’s epicentre, Ms Akin-Olugbade praised the effectiveness and resilience of Moroccan hydraulic infrastructure. “Morocco’s experience in the construction of dams and associated studies has meant it could build hydraulic infrastructure that today demonstrates its resilience, ensuring the continuity of water supplies and guaranteeing the region’s safety,” she continued.
The dam, financed by the Bank Group in 1978, supplies Marrakesh’s drinking water treatment plant, covering the needs of more than 2 million people. The African Development Bank continues to invest in the country’s utilities, working with the Moroccan National Electricity and Drinking Water Agency.
“The African Development Bank is committed to working with Morocco to carry out new projects,” Akin-Olugbade reiterated. “We shall continue to achieve beautiful things together.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Communication and External Relations Department,
About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org