Red Cross Red Crescent Appeal Launched for Victims of Earthquake in Iran
(Ottawa, June 26, 2002) - An appeal for 3.4 million Swiss francs to support some 25,000 people left homeless by the June 22 earthquake in north-western Iran was launched yesterday by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The assistance will be channelled through the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) operation to assist survivors of the tremor, which left 237 people dead, at least 1,300 injured and thousands homeless. Some 70 villages were heavily damaged in the provinces of Qazvin, Hamadan and Zanjan (destruction in these villages ranges from 10 per cent to 90 per cent) and 2,000 hectares of farmland were destroyed.
Some 25,000 people require care and assistance until rebuilding can begin. The appeal funds will be used to purchase food, tents, medicines and medical supplies as well as water and sanitation materials and equipment (including water pumps, tanks and water purification tablets). "There is pressure on the health infrastructure and widespread damage to the water supply system. We are particularly concerned to ensure that people have adequate access to clean water, and thus prevent the spread of disease," noted Iain Logan, operations manager for the Federation in Geneva.
Joint IRCS/Federation assessments of survivors' needs are continuing, and the results will provide the basis for a full appeal in due course. Iranian Red Crescent rescue teams and helicopters were on site in the hours following the earthquake, searching for survivors in the rubble, providing first aid and airlifting the most seriously injured to hospital. Some 2,500 rescuers and volunteers were mobilized in the emergency operation, supported by rescue dogs and 50 ambulances. Distribution of more than 100 tonnes of tents, blankets, food, water and hygiene articles to 5,000 families is continuing
Canadians wishing to help may make a financial donation by calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa and MasterCard. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "Iran Relief" and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2. Online donations are accepted at www.redcross.ca. Any funds received in excess of the Red Cross requirements for this disaster will be transferred to the International Disaster Relief Fund for future relief operations. Donations of goods are not accepted.
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