Nathalie Fustier: There was a quake in Morocco, I think now the casualties are more than 1000 people and several hundreds injured. It's in a very remote area of Morocco and access has been restricted so far, so we don't have images or really a lot of information about what happened.
We have more [information] from around Marrakesh because I think the [access] restrictions have been much less, even though the city has been impacted and people are still in the city. We don't have much more information right now.
UN News: What's the UN’s plan to provide support?
Nathalie Fustier: So, we reached out to the Government of Morocco to offer UN’s support in search and rescue, coordination of humanitarian assistance and health. And I think the government is deploying its own response to the earthquake. For now, we are on standby. We need to assist according to the modalities that the government would like to choose.
UN News: From what you know, what are the most urgent needs?
Nathalie Fustier: I think right now it's really search and rescue and maybe blood and medical assistance for people that are still in areas without a good medical support, but also maybe food… We don't have a lot of information, so I am just guessing given the situation and the location of the provinces in which the earthquake happened.
UN News: What capacities do you have as the UN in Morocco that you can provide for the government if needed? What areas can you support more in?
Nathalie Fustier: I think right now we can really support search and rescue as it's the disaster phase, and then we could go into the humanitarian [phase] with the full strength of the UN behind us, not necessarily in the country, but of course globally, because the UN is fully supporting the government.
I am confident that the Government of Morocco will respond really quickly to this emergency. We have seen that there is a huge mobilization and, again, we stand ready to assist.
Nathalie Fustier, UN Resident Coordinator in Morocco, says the UN is ready to assist the Government in any way needed as the huge search and rescue effort continues following Friday night's deadly earthquake. Ms. Fustier spoke to UN News's Reem Abaza from the capital, Rabat.