UNICEF rushes emergency aid to Iran earthquake zone

28 December 2003

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today dispatched five metric tons of urgently needed medical and shelter supplies to the earthquake-ravaged Bam region of Iran.

The agency sent 72 emergency health and essential drug kits containing antibiotics, painkillers, syringes, injectables, drips and other equipment to enable health workers on the ground to establish small medical clinics capable of providing minor surgery. Each kit contains enough supplies to cover the emergency health needsof 10,000 people for up to three months.

The UNICEF consignment, flown in by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), also includes winter tents and plastic sheeting.

In addition to injuries directly resulting from a quake, diseases can spread because of the breakdown of basic sanitation and a clean water supply, along with infection risks from decomposing bodies, UNICEF said. The agency pledged to monitor emerging needs and to provide additional support wherever possible as part of the joint UN response to the tragedy.


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