Iran

Six months on: Support for earthquake victims continues

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SIX months have passed since a massive earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, razed a large area of Khorasan province in eastern Iran on 10 May 1997.
The final death toll was put at more than 1,700, with some 5,000 people injured and thousands more left homeless.

Since the onset of the disaster Iranian Red Crescent staff and volunteers have worked unstintingly to help victims survive in the terrible days following the quake and then to start the slow process of restoring their lives.

With a harsh winter approaching, the race is on for the government to complete housing reconstruction projects. However, some of the homeless families are likely to remain in Iranian Red Crescent tents due to the relocation of their villages to safer areas.

Meanwhile, the Society continues to provide much needed food and hygiene items to almost 60,000 beneficiaries and is making daily deliveries of water (23,000 litres) to small villages in the stricken area.

An International Federation appeal - for SFr 12 million to assist 60,000 people for four months - has been fully covered, with the bulk of donations pledged in the days following the catastrophe.

"The rapid and generous response from our donors enabled the Iranian Red Crescent to plan its relief effort, confident that the necessary resources were available," explains Robert Watkins of the International Federation's Middle East and North Africa department.

"As a result, the Society has been able to help target beneficiaries for longer than originally planned - an achievement which could make all the difference for vulnerable families in the coming winter."

=A91997 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies