Following the devastating earthquake in Morocco, Algeria has taken the initiative to open its airspace to facilitate humanitarian flights and aid efforts. Significant destruction and displacement have occurred in various regions of Morocco, prompting Algerian authorities to swiftly respond and open their airspace to transport essential supplies, medical personnel, and equipment via humanitarian flights.
Earthquake Triggers Algeria’s Airspace Reopening
On the night of September 8 and 9, 2023, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck Amizmiz in the Atlas region of Morocco, approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of Marrakech. The Moroccan Ministry of Interior reports that this was the deadliest earthquake in the country’s history, claiming the lives of 2,500 people.
Algeria officially declared the reopening of its airspace and extended a generous offer of assistance to its neighboring country, as stated in an official statement released by the presidency.
“The senior Algerian authorities have […] decided to open the airspace to flights for the transport of humanitarian aid and the wounded,” the statement read, adding that the country was “fully prepared to provide humanitarian aid and to mobilize all material and human resources in solidarity with the brotherly Moroccan people, in the event of a request of the Kingdom of Morocco.”
Humanitarian Flights, Airspace Availability and Diplomatic Shift Aid Relief Efforts
The availability of airspace plays a critical role in accelerating the delivery of aid to affected regions. This allows relief organizations to transport supplies efficiently and enables medical teams to promptly reach individuals who require assistance.
This development signifies a significant change in diplomatic relations between Algeria and Morocco. Amid a diplomatic crisis between the two nations, Algeria had previously closed its airspace to all Moroccan civil and military aircraft on September 22, 2021. The unresolved disputes regarding Western Sahara had exacerbated the longstanding rivalry between these neighbouring Maghreb countries, resulting in the closure of their land borders in 1994.
This act of solidarity is a welcome development following a period of significant diplomatic tensions, enabling the swift and efficient transportation of aid to the affected regions. It is a testament to the unity displayed in the face of natural disasters. Hopefully, this will catalyze future acts of solidarity and cooperation.
What do you think about Algeria’s decision to open its airspace to facilitate humanitarian flights and aid efforts after the earthquake in Morocco? Do you believe this act of solidarity will have a positive impact on future cooperation between Algeria and Morocco?