TEHRAN, 7 April 2019 (IRCS) – Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) has released a statement denying that the National Society has received any cash donations from abroad as of April 7 for assisting victims of the country’s recent flood.
According to the statement, after the massive flooding which hit several Iranian provinces, some Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies as well as some international organisations and agencies, including IFRC, OCHA, Kuwait Red Crescent, Afganistan Red Crescent, Azerbaijan Red Crescent, etc. announced sympathy with the Iranian people and voiced their readiness to send cash and in-kind contributions to Iran.
“German Red Cross, Turkish Red Crescent and Kuwait Red Crescent were among the Societies that sent in-kind assistance to the flood-affected people, and the items have been received by the Iranian Red Crescent, which is being distributed among the affected people. Russia and French Red Cross have announced their readiness to send relief consignments but nothing has been received so far (7 April),” IRCS said in the statement.
The statement emphasized: “No foreign cash aids have been made to the Iranian Red Crescent Society, as there are basically no financial channels for such purpose. Even though, certain countries and organisations have announced their readiness to offer cash contributions, given the inhumane USA sanctions against Iran, there is no channel for cash aids to be sent to IRCS as of this date. The existing misconceptions about this matter are partly due to the fact that the difference between cash and in-kind contributions have been overlooked. There is no obstacle for sending or receiving relief consignments, but cash donations are still not possible due to the USA sanctions.”
“Following the requests of Iranian expatriates in other countries to support the flood-affected people, Iranian Red Crescent opened a channel for receiving cash donations which was immediately blocked due to the USA sanctions. At present, there is no way for Iranian expatriates to donate cash aids. Some of the institutions and charities abroad have taken measures to collect cash aid on behalf of the Iranian Red Crescent, which are not approved of by the Society. For now, the only way for Iranian expatriates in other countries to send their assistance is through an account number of the German Red Cross. Now that financial channels to Iran have been blocked, the IRCS calls on all Iranian and non-Iranian citizens to send cash contributions via German Red Cross official website. After the donations have been collected, the Iranian Red Crescent and the German Red Cross will take the necessary measures on how to allocate the donations in a targeted way for the flood-affected people.”
“Despite claims by American authorities, the USA sanctions have not only made it harder for IRCS to offer relief services in the recent disaster, they have also prevented the Society of upgrading its logistical capabilities, especially in its air relief operation. It is now impossible for the IRCS to purchase helicopters through normal channels because of the sanctions, however the Iranian Red Crescent is offering air relief services with 24 choppers, which in the recent flooding, considerably speeded up the relief operations. However, IRCS faces numerous troubles for maintaining its current fleet of helicopters.
Obviously, after receiving foreign aids (cash or in-kind), an official progress report will be issued and disseminated by the Iranian Red Crescent Society.