The City of London Corporation is urging firms to join in donating to emergency appeals for Libya and Morocco, after stumping up £50,000, City A.M. can exclusively reveal.
The Square Mile’s local authority has donated two separate £25,000 donations to the appeals, after thousands of people have died in twin natural disasters.
After announcing the donation, it urged the Square Mile’s firms to donate to the aid effort, being channelled through the Red Cross.
The funds will be donated from the corporation’s international disasters fund, after the decision was made today by its finance committee.
This comes after Morocco was hit by a major earthquake which decimated communities in its rural Atlas mountains, cutting off thousands of people. According to the Red Cross, the magnitude 6.8 quake has killed almost 3,000 and impacted more than a quarter-of-a-million.
Shortly after, Storm Daniel hit the northern coast of Libya, causing devastating flash floods, and the breaching of two major dams near the city of Derna.
The ensuing flash floods swept much of the port city away, with thousands of people killed. Because of the political situation in Libya, aid has become increasingly difficult to get to the affected area, meaning dead bodies have been left in the disaster zone, causing disease and shortages.
Speaking about the donation, chairman of the City Corporation’s finance committee, Henry Colthurst, said: “These are destructive events which have had an appalling impact on people and communities, often the ones least able to cope. Thousands have died whilst many others have been left with terrible injuries.
“Families have lost everything. Their homes have been reduced to rubble. Survivors are desperately in need of shelter, food, and water. They now face disease which is so often the fatal aftermath of such disasters.
“We urge businesses and other organisations across the capital which are able to help, to join us in donating to these appeals, and to support the vital work being done to help these devastated communities.”
The foreign secretary James Cleverly, however, came in for criticism on Sunday over the UK’s slashed international aid budget, which has made it less nimble in responding to international disasters.
Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Lord Ahmad said: “It is harrowing to see the loss of life and scenes of devastation in Libya following the floods. The UK is committed to supporting the Libyan people during this extremely difficult time.
“We will increase UK funding to the crisis response and deliver crucial life-saving provisions, including shelter, water filters and medical assessments.”