Statement from Associate Vice-President, International, Dr. Ian Rowlands, on disasters in Morocco and Libya

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Last week, an earthquake hit Morocco, and earlier this week, floods devastated Libya. Close to 10,000 people have reportedly been killed and hundreds of thousands have had their livelihoods and homes destroyed in an instant. 

On behalf of the University of Waterloo, I express my sadness at the loss of many lives and the catastrophic impacts for so many people following these natural disasters in North Africa.  I send my condolences to the families and communities devastated by these events. 

I also recognize that some members of our campus community, as well as some in the Waterloo Region, have loved ones, friends, and colleagues who are directly affected by these disasters.  My thoughts are also with them.  Staff will reach out to students from Morocco and Libya in the coming days, and we have resources available to aid those in the University of Waterloo community who need support.  Please see the list below. 

Thank you for the support you give others in light of these tragedies. 

List of supports: 

Our Employee and Family Assistance Program is available 24/7 for counselling, coaching and support. Call 1-800-663-1142 or visit