Iran: UN rushes in urgently-need supplies and funds to earthquake victims

3 April 2006

The United Nations has dispatched urgently-needed supplies to Iran and extended several emergency cash grants for relief efforts in the wake of the series of earthquakes that affected some 100,000 people in western Lorestan province last week, killing 70 and injuring at least 1,300 others.

The United Nations has dispatched urgently-needed supplies to Iran and extended several emergency cash grants for relief efforts in the wake of the series of earthquakes that affected some 100,000 people in western Lorestan province last week, killing 70 and injuring at least 1,300 others.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has allocated $50,000 for the purchase of tents and blankets, including $20,000 from its reserve fund and $30,000 from the Netherlands' reserve fund.

At the request of Italy, $170,000 in relief supplies, including water storage containers and purification units, generators, kitchen sets, tents and blankets, were transported from the UN warehouse in Brindisi to Iran over the weekend on behalf of OCHA and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

Additionally, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has mobilized $100,000 for relief assistance for children and is sending 10,000 blankets and 300 tents from its stocks in Bam, in south-eastern Iran, where a quake in 2003 killed some 26,000 people and left 80,000 others homeless.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has mobilized $100,000 and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) $50,000 from their emergency reserves. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing $100,000 from central emergency funds and $50,000 from local funds to support coordination, information, assessment and early recovery planning.

WHO has established a temporary field office in Doroud to assist local authorities in dealing with the health and medical needs. Two emergency health kits, which are sufficient to meet the needs of 20,000 people for three months, are being transported to the region. In addition, the agency is discussing with the national Ministry of Health the use of $150,000 from the Regional Emergency Funds. UNICEF also has a representative in the region, who with the support of an expert team will assess educational needs and the psychological situation of the children affected.

Continuous aftershocks and additional quakes have the population sleeping outdoors in Lorestan where, at 1,000 metres above sea-level, overnight temperatures can drop considerably.

The joint UN Rapid Assessment Team, dispatched to the region on Saturday, reported that 50 per cent of the population in and around the city of Boroujerd had been displaced and some 10,000 homes had been partially or completely damaged.

The Iranian Government has welcomed this international assistance.

 

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