National Correspondent:   
Col. Zineddine AMMOUMOU
Direction Générale de la Protection Civile



National News Highlights

Morocco to create National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

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125px-flag_of_morocco_svgGENEVA/CAIRO, 28 February 2012 - Morocco is taking steps to join 78 other nations whose governments have created National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction to support policies for building resilience to disasters.

"The future National Platform will help the work of all sectors to converge into one common objective, which is to construct a country that is safer for current and future generations," said Mehdi Chalabi, Director of Surveillance and Prevention of Risk at the Department of Environment.

Morocco is one of the Arab region's most hazard-prone countries and the economy is frequently affected by dry spells, floods, landslides and invasion by locusts. Parts of the country are also exposed to seismic risk; 12,000 people lost their lives in a massive earthquake in the coastal town of Agadir in 1960. Cities and rural communities alike face the danger of sea-level rise and desertification as a result of climate change.

As with many countries, the responsibility for leading on disaster risk reduction lies within a government ministry which is also the focal point for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction -- in Morocco's case, within the Department of Environment at the Ministry of Energy, Water, Mines and Environment. But for resilience-building to be effective, there must be strong collaboration and coordination across many ministries.

To realize a "whole-of-society" approach to managing the risk of disaster, the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters -- the world's blueprint for creating resilient communities -- encourages the establishment of National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction. These are multi-stakeholder organizations aimed at improving national coordination in disaster risk management and reduction.

A road map for creating Morocco's National Platform was developed by 40 participants after three days of meetings earlier this month between government officials from nine ministries -- Energy, Water, Mines and Environment; General Affairs and Governance; the Interior; Health; Agriculture; Education; Finance; Tourism; and Transport.

They were joined by experts in urban development, meteorology, engineering, reinsurance and other fields, along with representatives of the Moroccan Red Crescent National Society, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN's disaster risk reduction office in the Arab States (UNISDR) as main facilitator.

Welcoming the news, UNISDR Regional Programme Officer, Lars Bernd, said disaster risk reduction activities were common in Morocco as a direct result of the country's exposure to a wide range of hazards but the activities "were too loosely connected" and insufficient to meet the population's needs whose vulnerability is growing.

"Given the vulnerability of Morocco's population and growing exposure of the country's economic assets to risk, the forthcoming National Platform, supported by a strategic national action plan, can help trigger more coherent and systematic interventions," said Mr. Bernd.

A robust system for managing disaster risk could also help the country encourage more investment in disaster risk reduction, he added. He referred to the Department of Environment and UNISDR initiative to establish a national disaster loss database that -- once finalized - would assess the costs borne by Moroccan households of disasters both large and small.

In addition, the World Bank is undertaking a probabilistic risk assessment -- a technique used by experts to determine how a complex system of risk assessment can contribute to ensure more safety in Morocco.

Under an existing plan to prevent flood risk, Morocco has already developed a forecasting and flood warning system, according to the 2011 National Hyogo Framework Progress Report for Disaster Risk Reduction. The same report says the country intends to develop a geographic information system containing data on natural and technological hazards across the country, called "GIS-Risk".

Additional support to the event was given by the UN Resident Coordinator's Office and UNICEF Morocco. Funding came from the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery's contribution to UNISDR.

Source: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat - Regional Office for Arab States (UNISDR ROAS)


Women at the centre of World Civil Protection Day celebrations in Morocco

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womenLast 1 March, the Moroccan General Direction for Civil Protection celebrated the World Civil Protection Day through a number of open events in its regional and provincial stations. The events were centered on the theme “the role of women in the civil protection and civil defense”. During the celebrations, the important contribution of women to the activities of the National Civil Protection was highlighted and women were further encouraged to get involved in this traditionally considered “male sector”.

The main aim of the celebrations organized in Morocco was to sensitize the population of the country, young people first, on the various risks they face, to show them commonly used search and rescue equipment and material, and to organize practical search and rescue, life saving and fire fighting demonstrations.

On 1 Mars 2011, Nawaf Al-Sleibi, Secretary General of the International Civil Protection Organization – established in Geneva on 1 Mars 1972 by 50 nations including Morocco – in his Civil Protection Day speech, invited the international community to give greater attention to the role of women in civil protection. This attention should consist, he said, of better training and education facilities for women and of greater efforts to encourage women to join national civil protection organizations in view of improving available capacities and operational performances of civil protection teams.

women2Data show better than anything else the slow, yet successful evolution of the Moroccan women role in the national civil protection sector. Women work not only as doctors, engineers, teachers or nurses; there are women officers and agents also in the operational teams. In 1997 the first Moroccan woman became civil protection officer. Today the National Civil Protection include in its ranks 4 female Captains, 28 female Lieutenants and 248 female agents. 148 female civil servants work within the National Civil Protection; among them three engineers, 18 doctors, 75 administrators, 16 nurses, 8 social affairs officers. However the path towards a full integration of women in the ranks of the National Civil Protection is still long. Only 4.7 % of Moroccan fireguards are women, 280 on a total of 6.000.

The first of March, National Civil Protection and Civil Defense Authorities worldwide celebrate the World Civil Protection Day. This year the international civil protection community used this opportunity to promote the involvement of women in civil protection and to encourage partnerships among civil protection bodies and women organizations.

See the video on the civil protection day in Tangier

Learn more on the International Civil Protection Organization

The national civil protection system

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This presentation was made by the National PPRD South National Correspondent at the First National Correspondents Meeting organised in Rome on 21-22 July 2009.

In preparation to their first meeting the PPRD South asked all the National Correspondents to prepare a presentation on the main features of their respective national Civil Protection system with the objective to create an initial shared knowledge base among the PPRD South National Correspondents Network and the PPRD South team. Almost all the National Correspondents prepared such presentation including the main information on both the legislative and institutional framework, as well as on the organizational setting of the National Civil Protection Authority and the overall Civil Protection system in their respective countries.

Download the presentation


La Lutte Antiacridienne au Maroc

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Le Maroc a toujours été un passage obligatoire des phénomènes de migration des criquets. En période d'invasion, une organisation spécifique est mise en place dans le pays. C'est une organisation souple et déconcentrée qui a comme principale avantage de permettre des interventions rapides sur le terrain. Le document "La Lutte Antiacridienne au Maroc" décrit dans le détail la structure organisationnelle et les modalités opérationnelles de ce dispositif. Les techniques de prospection et de traitement sont aussi illustrées et des détails sont fournis sur le suivi mis en place sur le plan médicale, environnementale et métrologique. Le site internet officiel sur la lutte antiacridienne au Maroc donne aussi des information sur la situation actuelle dans le pays, sur les actions entreprises au niveau national et sur la situation internationale présente.

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