Morocco to spend $11.7 bln on five-year post-quake reconstruction plan

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Morocco plans to spend at least 120 billion dirhams ($11.7 billion) in a post-earthquake reconstruction plan over the next five years, the royal palace said on Wednesday.

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck on Sept 8, killing more than 2,900 people, mostly in the hard-to-reach villages of the High Atlas mountains.

The plan would target 4.2 million people in the worst-hit provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Taroudant, Marrakech, Ouarzazate and Azizlal, the royal palace said, following a meeting of King Mohammed VI with government and army officials. The plan covers rehousing and the upgrade of infrastructure in a way that is conducive to social and economic development in the quake-hit areas, it said in the statement.

The quake-stricken areas are among Morocco's poorest, with many remote villages lacking proper roads and public services. The royal palace said the plan would be funded by the govenrment's budget, international aid and by a fund set up in response to the quake.Last week, the palace said that 50,000 houses were known to have been damaged and that authorities would provide shelter and 30,000 dirhams to affected households. It also pledged to offer reconstruction aid of 140,000 dirhams for collapsed homes and 80,000 for damaged ones.


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