Over the past few days, the University of Toronto community has been alarmed and saddened to hear of the significant loss of life caused by natural disasters in North Africa. On Sept. 8, Morocco experienced a devastating earthquake that killed and injured thousands of people and left many more homeless and vulnerable. Over the weekend, catastrophic flooding hit parts of Libya, with thousands of people feared dead or missing and entire neighbourhoods reportedly swept away. With rescue and recovery efforts only beginning, the full scale of both disasters is still unfolding. On behalf of the U of T community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives or suffered from these catastrophes. With our deepening ties to Africa, events like these have an increasingly profound impact here in Toronto.
We have contacted all University of Toronto students who have registered with U of T Safety Abroad for academic activities in Morocco, and I am relieved to let you know that they are safe. No students are currently registered as being in Libya. We are not aware of any of our faculty or staff currently in either country.
This is a challenging time for our students, faculty, staff and librarians who have personal and professional connections in North Africa. We encourage affected members of our community to take full advantage of the academic, personal support and safety resources below. Student support staff on each of the campuses have reached out directly to impacted students and/or student organizations, including the University of Toronto Moroccan Association.
We are also thinking about members of our global alumni network who are living and working in Morocco and Libya, or who have family and friends there.
The University will continue to monitor both situations and provide updates as needed. Thank you for supporting one another during this difficult time.
Academic support services and/or considerations:
Personal support services:
Faculty, staff and librarians may contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program at 1-855-597-2110.
Assistance for U of T members travelling in the region:
The federal government, through Global Affairs Canada, provides emergency consular assistance to Canadian citizens abroad. Members of our community who are travelling in the affected areas can:
U of T students, faculty and staff travelling for University purposes who have registered can also receive emergency support through International SOS: