Lending a helping hand to Morocco

September 20, 2023 | By Rama Alsayegh
On September 8, 2023, a rare 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Atlas Mountains of western Morocco, wiping out entire villages in seconds and destroying large parts of Marrakech, with tremors felt all the way in Casablanca.

According to official reports as of September 13, more than 5,500 people were injured and almost 3,000 lost their lives, with the death toll continuing to rise. Many are still unaccounted for, and many more have found themselves without shelter.

We have worked with our corporate security team and people and capabilities team to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and their families and will continue to support them during this difficult time.

To assist the country’s relief efforts, Mastercard will donate $500,000 to our global partner High Atlas Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes community-designed initiatives for sustainable agriculture, women’s and youth empowerment, education, health, and capacity-building in Morocco. High Atlas will support short-term as well as long-term recovery for the people in need. 

We are also offering a 1:1 match for donations to High Atlas of USD $25 or more made through our MC Cares portal, up to an annual maximum of $15,000, and we have invited all our employees to contribute to those in need.

Keeping in mind the operational challenges posed by the earthquake, we have granted a hardship variance for the next six months to issuers and acquirers in Morocco that are processing disputes, providing them with additional time to do so.

Beyond financial assistance, we are exploring ways to deploy our resources to help with emergency relief and long-term recovery. We are mobilizing the breadth of our assets in support of NGOs, government entities and financial institutions and their crisis response efforts to direct funding and humanitarian aid where it can have the greatest impact.

Photo of Rama Alsayegh
Rama Alsayegh, Director, Communications, Middle East & North Africa, Mastercard EEMEA