UN official calls for generous aid to displaced Iranian quake survivors

30 December 2003

The United Nations official responsible for internally displaced people today appealed to the global community to generously aid the survivors of last week’s devastating earthquake in Iran and to support long-term efforts to rebuild the country’s destroyed communities.

Friday’s quake in Bam, which killed, injured or left homeless tens of thousands, “is a most tragic demonstration” of the extent to which natural disasters often require international cooperation to complement national efforts, said Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Representative on internally displaced persons, Francis M. Deng, in a statement released in Geneva.

It is currently estimated that 90 per cent of all homes in Bam were destroyed. Because Iran might not be able to adequately respond, Mr. Deng urged all concerned, including the international community, “to respond generously to the needs of the survivors of this disaster.”

He stressed that beyond emergency relief, it is essential to support Iran’s efforts to meet the long-term needs of the displaced, providing durable shelter, education, livelihood opportunities, and, eventually, rebuilding their communities.


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