United Nations dispatches emergency relief to Iran

News and Press Release
Originally published
(New York: 3 April 2006): In the wake of the series of earthquakes that struck Lorestan province in western Iran in the night and early morning of 30 to 31 March 2006, the United Nations has dispatched urgently-needed supplies and extended several emergency cash grants for relief efforts. The Government of Iran has welcomed this international assistance.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has allocated $50,000 for the purchase of urgently-needed 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 -- stored in the United Nations' warehouse in Brindisi were transported to Iran over the weekend, on behalf of OCHA and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Additionally, the United Nations 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 to Lorestan province. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has mobilized $100,000 and the World Health Organization (WHO) $50,000 from their emergency reserves. The United Nations 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.

The 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 WHO is in discussion with the national Ministry of Health on the use of $150,000 from the Regional Emergency Funds. The 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.

The series of earthquakes, which measured between 2.8 to 6.0 on the Richter scale, affected some 100,000 people in and around the cities of Doroud and Boroujerd, injuring at least 1,300 and killing 70. Continuous aftershocks and additional earthquakes in Lorestan province have the affected population sleeping outdoors in this region 1000 metres above sea-level, where overnight temperatures can drop considerably.

The joint United Nations Rapid Assessment Team, dispatched to the affected region on Saturday, has conducted a three-day mission. The inter-agency team, comprising UNICEF, WHO, and UNDP representatives, reports that 50 per cent of the population in and around the city of Boroujerd has been displaced (the Boroujerd area comprises 130 villages, 40 of which have been completely destroyed) and approximately 10,000 homes have been partially or completely damaged. In Doroud, two additional earthquakes of magnitude 3.9 and 3.7 occurred on 2 April.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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