On 8 September 2023, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Morocco, killing 2,862 people and leaving around 6,000 people injured, as reported on 13 September by the Moroccon Ministry of Health.
The earthquake mainly hit the rural area of the High Atlas Mountains, where there were landslides, collapses and paths were cut or difficult to use. In this region, access to remote and rural villages already difficult to reach has been further affected by the earthquake.
In the immediate aftermath of this tragedy, on 9 September, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) sent emergency teams to assess the humanitarian and medical situation in the most affected areas, in the provinces of Al Haouz, Taroudant and Chichaoua. Five MSF teams assessed 30 locations in total.
The overall response of the Moroccan authorities, bilateral partners and the Moroccan people was remarkable. There was a rapid mobilisation of emergency response plans from the Moroccan Ministry of Health, military and civil protection. The installation of advanced medical posts, field hospitals and referral capacity were crucial to ensure an urgent medical and humanitarian response in a timely manner.