Participants at the Supreme Audit Institutions symposium, which was held in Marakkesh, the Kingdom of Morocco, on Tuesday, have offered solidarity to the country dealing with the aftermath of a deadly earthquake that has claimed nearly 3,000 people. They assured the North African nation of their support in these trying times.

The global audit institutions’ stakeholders, during their symposium, rose in unison and solemnity to say the Al-Fatiha for the repose of the souls of the dead and also asked for the fortitude needed by the mourning nation to bear the loss of its citizens and handle the aftermath of the devastation occasioned by the quake.

The international symposium on ‘The role of supreme audit institutions in promoting accountability, transparency, public integrity and good governance’ was organized by the Kingdom of Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance as part of the buildup to the 2023 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF from October 9-15, 2023.

Morocco, which will be hosting the annual meetings 50 years after it was first held in Africa, had maintained very high momentum in its preparation for the meetings until the earthquake struck on Friday.

The 6.8-magnitude quake, the strongest-ever to hit the country, struck 72 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Marrakesh, wiping out entire villages in rural areas and killing nearly 3,000 people with over  2,059  injured.

The country has, however, assured the international community that the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF would continue as scheduled, adding that the 50-hectare campus where the event would be held was not affected by the earthquake.

While delivering her opening speech at the international symposium which was also streamed live for participants who couldn’t be present in Marakkesh, the host city of the conference, the first President of the Court of Audit, Mrs Zineb El ADAOUI, urged the delegates to stand up and say the Al-Fatiha prayers for all those lost to the natural disaster.

She assured the world that Morocco would continue to demonstrate resilience in the face of the enormous pressure exerted by the earthquake and advised the world to pay more attention to climate change, which according to her, had aggravated many natural disasters globally.

She argued that nations hit by natural disasters required a lot of help, solidarity and support to maintain economic stability during the time of such crisis.

“All institutions must work together to respond to and manage natural disasters that could hamper the economic growth of nations,” she said.

In a similar vein, the President of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, Bruno Dantas, who also doubles as the President of the Federal Audit Court of Brazil, encouraged nations and international institutions to build resilience ahead of crises.

“We encourage institutions to build resilience during the time of crisis caused by natural disasters,” he added.

He urged Supreme Audit Institutions globally to continue to promote accountability, transparency, and public integrity while tackling inherent corruption and fraud.