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Emergency Funding Reaches Midwives in Morocco, Post-Earthquake



A woman carrying a child on her back walks through the earthquake-hit village of Ineghede in al-Haouz province in the High Atlas mountains of central Morocco on September 13, 2023. (Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP via Getty Images)

Direct Relief today announced $75,000 will be issued to midwives working in Morocco to protect the health of women giving birth and young children in the aftermath of the devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the region earlier this month.

Emergencies disproportionately impact certain populations, including pregnant women and very young children. Midwives, trained and equipped for care, can facilitate safe births outside a hospital setting, which is particularly important when hospitals are scarce or overwhelmed with patients due to disasters.

Direct Relief supports midwives on an ongoing basis and also during emergencies, including post-disaster after earthquakes in Turkey, Syria, and Indonesia, as well as other disasters. Interruptions in prenatal care, lack of clean water and food access, and the stress of displacement and lack of housing can all impact pregnant women and young children during and after a disaster.

Two groups will receive funding to support midwifery in the aftermath of the earthquakes. Of the $75,000 disbursed, $50,000 will go to the International Confederation of Midwives, which has chapter organizations of local midwives working in Morocco. Direct Relief is also providing $25,000 to the Association Marocaine des Sages-Femmes, which also represents midwives in the country.

In the search and rescue phase of the emergency, Direct Relief provided Bomberos Unidos Sin Fronteras (United Firefighters without Borders) with an emergency operating grant of $100,000. The NGO, based in Spain, is conducting search and rescue efforts in Morocco at the request of the Moroccan government.

Direct Relief is working to help route needed supplies to Morocco. Among the donations in process, in coordination with a local manufacturer and The High Atlas Foundation, are 20,000 units of requested nutritionals for affected communities in Morocco. The High Atlas Foundation has a long history of working in Morocco’s mountainous communities near the earthquake’s epicenter.

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