Iran

UNICEF Humanitarian Action: Earthquake in Bam, Iran donor update 5 Aug 2004

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


1. OVERVIEW AND RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Bam district continues to recover from the devastating earthquake of December 2003. On 15 June, the government published a list of buildings that it intends to re-build, with the support of local and international organisations. The list includes 49 schools, 4 rehabilitation centres, 14 cultural centres and 5 social service buildings, including 30 kindergartens.

The increased momentum to start permanent reconstruction in Bam is a welcoming initiative. As the heat continues to rise, the need for permanent structures remains critical.

Demand for drinking water has also increased and the current water system is unable to cope. A critical priority, therefore, for UNICEF is to assist in the rehabilitation and replacement of the system, while at the same time meet the continuing water needs.

2. UNICEF RESPONSE: ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS

UNICEF remains the largest UN agency working in Bam and continues to play a coordinating role in the sectors of health & nutrition, child protection, education, and water & sanitation. In addition, it is closely working with the government ministries, local authorities, UN agencies and NGOs to ensure an integrated approach for Bam's revival.

Water and sanitation: As part of its efforts to promote eco-sanitation, UNICEF has recently agreed with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to pilot a project to construct 50 specially designed latrines in Zone One of Bam City. These twin-pit-latrines are designed to re-cycle human excreta into useable agricultural fertilizer. UNICEF has also conducted an eight-day tour to India, with a team of Iranian officials to study the use of eco-sanitation technologies and emergency preparedness in the water and sanitation sector.

In an effort to improve the sanitation facilities at Early Child Care Centres (ECCCs), temporary latrines (squatting plates) were delivered to 12 centres in early July. As part of a more permanent solution, all 36 ECCCs will be provided with prefabricated latrine units in the coming months. The 12 UNICEF-supported recreational centres will also receive these latrine units.

In order to assess the condition of school sanitation in Bam district, UNICEF has designed a 'Care Taker Survey' to be completed by schools. Forty assessment forms, out of an expected 130, have been returned so far. This survey is being conducted in collaboration with the school health division of MoH Bam. UNICEF will compile the results into a database for analysis.

In July, UNICEF received supplies for 150 latrine/shower combinations, which are being constructed with the support of the MoH in two of the emergency zones. If this pilot phase is successful, supplies for the reconstruction of a further 2,000 latrine/shower units will be procured. The target beneficiaries include female-headed households, families with children aged under five and families with disabled or elderly dependents in Bam City.

UNICEF has developed and provided new forms to MoH to monitor the quality of water in Bam. This is expected to strengthen data collection and analysis, particularly in relation to water quality and health trends.

Child protection:

Following extensive dialogue with the government's State Welfare Organisation (SWO), UNICEF has agreed on a plan of action to begin medium-term interventions in child protection and family re-unification. Implementation has already begun and it is the first time that such a programme of this scale is underway in Iran. Its primary objective is to protect 5,200 children known to be separated as a result of the earthquake. UNICEF will re-unify as many of them as possible with their families. For children without primary caregivers, it will aim to find long-term solutions, looking first and foremost at the option of reintegrating them into their local communities.

UNICEF continues to support residential child centres in the Kerman province, which were set up during the early phase of the emergency. A recent mission has confirmed the continued use of basic supplies, such as beds, washing machines, and mattresses supplied earlier.

Work has begun to establish 10 recreational centres for children aged 6-8 years old. As of 11 July, UNICEF had installed nine pre-fabricated playrooms in areas designated by the SWO. The centres will offer a wide-range of recreational activities including courses in language and computers; opportunities for art, music and drama; and safe spaces for children to interact and relay. While SWO will manage and run these centres, UNICEF will equip them with the necessary supplies.

While the media attention may have been short-lived, overcoming the tragedy will take much longer for the survivors. Children in Bam are still struggling to cope with the trauma of the earthquake. UNICEF continues to support the MoH in its psychosocial outreach programme and public awareness campaign. To date, 30,000 people have attended group therapy sessions and over 60,000 people have been screened.

Education:

The devastating earthquake brought education to a stand-still in Bam. For the 800 children completing their one-year pre-university schooling, it had the potential to eliminate their chances of going to university. In order to address this situation, UNICEF supported intensive, catch-up courses in the Kerman province to enable 400 of these 16 -18 year olds to compete in the national exams. Others were assisted in Yazd province. The national exams took place in July and results are expected in September. The Ministry of Science, Research and Technology has already agreed to a special entry quota for Bam students over the next two years.

UNICEF is now preparing for the next curriculum year which will begin in September. To ensure appropriate education material, and health and sanitation facilities in the 56 schools it supports, UNICEF is organising a basic assessment through voluntary health workers. In May, 20 volunteers received the one-day training session in the use of specially designed data collection forms. They will visit schools as part of this assessment.

Health and Nutrition:

In its efforts to restore the vaccine and immunization cold chain, UNICEF will provide 96 community health facilities in Bam with basic equipment such as small refrigerators, vaccine carriers and motorbikes. Most of the equipment is already in transit and is expected to arrive in the next few weeks. Preparations are also underway to establish a Cold Room storage facility in Kerman which will act as the central point for the management of the vaccine and immunisation programme.

To support nutrition efforts, the remaining supply of 7MT of fortified biscuits, donated by the WFP, were distributed to 33 UNICEF-supported Early Childhood Care Centres in Bam City.

500 community health volunteers from Bam attended a seven-day course on health and nutrition. The courses, which took place from 19 May to 23 June, were organised by the MoH, in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Save the Children Fund and the local NGO, Nejat. The training included information on child care and monitoring, and special attention was paid to coping with a natural disaster.

3. FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS AND RECEIPTS

UNICEF is grateful to the generous contributions received from donors, which has enabled it to plan and implement an integrated response that not only addresses the current emergency needs of the affected children and women, but also looks toward long-term sustainable solutions to revive the communities of Bam district. The table below details contributions by donors.

DONOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNICEF FOR BAM EARTHQUAKE
DONOR
Received
(US$)
Pledged
(US$)
TOTAL (US$) AS AT 4 AUGUST 2004
Governments and Agencies
ECHO
1,207,314
1,207,314
USAID/OFDA
2,500,000
2,500,000
DFID
932,835
932,835
UN OCHA
100,000
100,000
Belgium
619,031
619,031
Sweden
666,667
666,667
Chile
20,000
20,000
National Committees
Andorran Natcom
21,427
21,427
Australian Natcom
601,143
601,143
Austrian Natcom
74,626
74,626
Belgium Natcom
62,422
62,422
Canadian Natcom
404,876
404,876
French Natcom
309,016
309,016
German Natcom
4,605,390
4,605,390
Hong Kong Natcom
85,000
85,000
Ireland Natcom
100,000
100,000
Italian Natcom
621,890
1,172,140
621,890
Italian Natcom/TG 5
2,407,248
2,407,248
Japanese Natcom
1,143,991
1,143,991
Korean Natcom
100,000
100,000
Netherlands Natcom
1,402,068
1,402,068
New Zealand Natcom
24,873
24,873
Spanish Natcom
669,708
669,708
Swedish Natcom
46,796
49,135
UK Natcom
2,028,045
2,028,045
US Natcom & Gates Foundation
895,765
895,765
Miscellaneous Donors
1,622
1,622
TOTALS
20,787,425
2,038,807
22,826,232

In addition to the financial contributions, the Government of Norway provided two warehousing structures and camp accommodation for 40 people in Bam, up until April.

Details of the Bam earthquake emergency programme can be obtained from:

Kari Egge
UNICEF Representative
Iran
Tel: + 98 21 259 4994
Fax: + 98 21 259 4948
E-mail: kegge@unicef.org

Olivier Degreef
UNICEF EMOPS
Geneva
Tel: + 41 22 909 5655
Fax: + 41 22 909 5902
E-mail: odegreef@unicef.org

Dan Rohrmann
UNICEF PFO
New York
Tel: + 1 212 326 7009
Fax: + 1 212 326 7165
E-mail: drohrmann@unicef.org

UNICEF EMERGENCY UPDATES are available at http://www.unicef.org/emerg and http://www.reliefweb.int