Morocco: German Red Cross Aid to Morocco Postponed Due to ‘New Rules’

The German Red Cross was scheduled to send a relief flight to Morocco on Thursday, upon Moroccan request. The Moroccan government has restricted aid senders to four the governments, excluding Germany, the US and France.

A German Red Cross relief flight set to take off on Thursday en route to Morocco was postponed at the last minute due to “new rules and regulations,” as the North African country reels from a devastating earthquake that killed thousands.

The German Red Cross (DRK) said in a Thursday statement that the flight, due to take off from the German city of Leipzig, had to be canceled “for reasons beyond our control and that of our partners in the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.”

The relief flight was packed with 36.6 tons of relief supplies, the German DPA news agency reported. They included over 3,000 floor mats and 550 family-sized tents.

What did the DRK say?

The DRK said the relief was planned based on a request from the Moroccan Red Crescent.

“We deeply regret these developments, because the people on the ground urgently need help after the severe earthquakes,” the statement read. The Red Cross added that it was working on resolving the issue.

Morocco has restricted the response crews allowed to bring aid into the country to four countries; Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, also allowing NGOs to transfer aid.

Why is Morocco restricting aid?

The government argued that poorly coordinated aid would be counterproductive. However, many Moroccans suggested the decision was political, particularly as countries such as the US and Morocco’s former colonizer France were not allowed to send aid.

“It is important that in times like these, aid is provided solely according to the level of need and that humanitarian work is supported from all sides,” the DRK said in its Thursday statement.

The earthquake left 2,946 dead and 5,674 more injured, as per the latest tally by the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday evening.

With material from DPA.

Edited by Richard Connor

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