The Government of Catalonia convened the Catalan Committee for Emergency Humanitarian Aid (CCAHE) on Wednesday in order to coordinate Catalonia’s response to the crisis caused by natural disasters in Morocco and Libya. During the meeting, leading humanitarian institutions in Catalonia shared the latest information on the situation on the ground, and discussed the needs expressed by their local partners. Three organisations representing the Moroccan diaspora in Catalonia also took part in this meeting to coordinate efforts in response to the earthquake crisis.
The meeting, which was chaired by the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, was also attended by the Director General for Development Cooperation, Yoya Alcoceba i Cruixent, and the Director of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, Vicenç Margalef Parellada.
Minister Serret emphasised the need to “be prepared to identify priorities and channel aid”. In this regard, the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union met in the morning with the Consul General of Morocco in Tarragona and offered the support of the Government and Catalan cooperation to “promote reconstruction projects in the country immediately”. The participants in the Committee stressed that the priorities in terms of support for Morocco include rescue efforts and debris management; medical assistance for people injured by the earthquake and psychosocial care; access to drinking water; shelter; kitchen utensils and specific items for the winter, and food aid.
One million euros earmarked for the humanitarian crisis created by earthquake in Morocco
The minister has announced the allocation of one million euros by the Government to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the earthquake in Morocco. This financial contribution will be activated when Moroccan authorities begin accepting international aid. As things stand, the funds would be channelled through a call for grants to Catalan NGOs.
In addition, the minister has also announced that the Government will advance the ordinary line of grants for Catalan cooperation. This will allow Catalan organisations to receive funding sooner for projects aimed at the reconstruction of Morocco, which is one of the priority countries for Catalan cooperation. “In a humanitarian crisis, after the emergency phase, the reconstruction phase begins to ensure the return to a dignified life for the affected people”, declared Serret.
The Government of Catalonia will provide emergency aid to Libya through the United Nations
With regard to the situation in Libya, despite being a country with less of a tradition of Catalan cooperation compared to Morocco, the Government has also announced its willingness to respond to the crisis situation. For this reason, the Government’s aid in this case will be channelled through the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The Catalan government has made a contribution of 600,000 euros to this fund this year, double the amount of the previous year.
A priority for the Government of Catalonia
The minister stressed that for the Government of Catalonia, development cooperation policy is “structural and strategic” and noted that in this year’s budget, the humanitarian aid fund increased by 50%, from 4 to 6 million euros. The intention is that in the upcoming budget for 2024, we can continue to affirm and reaffirm this charitable commitment to act in humanitarian emergency and development cooperation situations.