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Iran welcomes foreign aid due to depth of killer quake

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamdi-Reza Asefion Sunday condoled with those who lost their beloved ones in Friday's catastrophic earthquake in Bam city and reiterated that in view of the depth of its disastrous consequences Iran welcomes foreign aid, IRNA reported from Tehran.

photo: ISNA

Turning to formation of a special headquarters taking charge of the quake calamities headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs Mohammad-Ali Hadi, he noted that its members have been present at the site since the outset of the disaster to present proper strategies to coordinate the affairs.

Concerning the exact number of the foreign relief workers currently staying in Iran, he said that the figure is constantly varying and confirmed that they are mostly professional. "Meanwhile, some of the required relief packages have been dispatched to Iran via Iranian embassies," he added.

Despite Christmas holidays in Europe, Iranian embassies managed to hold talks with the related foreign authorities during the first and second day after the killer quake.

In response to a question on the limitation imposed on the Iranian expatriates residing the US in transferring cash to Iran, he said that despite such a ban, they are naturally willing to help their victimized compatriots.

photo: ISNA

UNICEF rushes over 40 tons of relief aid to Bam quake region
Berlin, Dec 28, IRNA -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has rushed more than 40 tons of relief supplies to the Bam region to help tens of thousands of Iranian children affected by Thursday's devastating earthquake, the German-branch of the UNICEF announced in Cologne on Sunday.

Two UNICEF relief flights which were expected to land in Iran on Sunday, will carry medicines, medical equipment, tents, blankets, portable generators, water purification tablets, community water tanks, tarpaulin, rope and other shelter supplies.

The shipment is estimated at around 285,000 US dollars, according to UNICEF which also said it would soon issue a flash appeal to help provide continuing emergency relief to Bam's children.

UNHCR makes urgent donation of emergency aid to Bam
Tehran, Dec 28, IRNA -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Iran shared the deep shock of the Iranian nation in the aftermath of the earthquake that has cost the lives of so many in the city of Bam on Friday.

The UNHCR would like to convey its sincere condolences to the people of Iran, the humanitarian agency said in a press release Sunday.

It donated one thousand tents, ten thousand blankets and three thousands mattresses from its stock of supplies to assist refugees in Iran. The total value of the donation was approximately one hundred and forty thousand US dollar.

A convoy of eight trucks carrying these items left a UNHCR warehouse in Kermanshah this morning on its way to Bam.

A joint United Nations assessment team in Bam on Saturday found that 90 per cent of all buildings in the city have been significantly or totally damaged by the quake.

With temperatures in the area falling below freezing at night, tents and blankets are essential to provide immediate relief to the affected population.

UN sends funds, emergency teams to earthquake-ravaged Iran
Tehran, Dec 28, IRNA -- With Iran's government reporting heavy casualties from an earthquake which rocked the southeastern part of the country, the United Nations Friday dispatched funds and experts to bolster relief efforts.

According to the UN Information Center (UNIC) here, a spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York called on the international community to provide immediate backing for efforts to help victims of the massive disaster.

"The United Nations Country Team in Tehran has sent two teams to the affected area," Annan's spokesman said.

"In addition, a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team has been dispatched to help coordinate relief efforts."

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is also providing Iran with an initial emergency grant of 90,000 US dollars.

Switzerland sends 2 aid consignments to quake-stricken Bam

Vienna, Dec 28, IRNA -- Two airplanes, carrying humanitarian aid, from Switzerland to Iran's quake-stricken region is to arrive in Bam airport on Sunday.

The consignments contain 500 tents, 500 heaters, 500 mattresses, over 100 plastic sheets and 800 kg of medicines. The aid, valued at 650,000 dollars, are to be dispatched to Iran by Swiss Foreign Ministry and Red Cross.

The first consignment of Swiss humanitarian aid was dispatched to Iran on Saturday.

45 foreign planes land in Iran
Tehran, Dec 28, IRNA -- 45 planes from foreign countries carrying humanitarian aid have been landed in the country to help the quake-stricken people in Bam, southeastern Iran, said an official with the Civil Aviation Organization Sunday.

Ja'far Pour Sadeqiyan told IRNA that the foreign planes were carrying donations including tents, medicines, rescue teams and sniffer dogs.

The planes landed in Iran since Saturday are from Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Armenia and Pakistan, said Pour Sadeqiyan.

He also pointed out that Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, the U.K., Germany, Syria, the United States, Slovakia, Morocco, Finland, France, Algeria, Ukraine, Poland and Egypt have sent planes to Iran carrying donations for the quake-stricken people in the city of Bam.

The official reiterated that 56 planes carrying domestic donations have been landed in Kerman airport.

3,845 injured people were transferred by the planes from Kerman to different cities, said Pour Sadeqiyan.

... Payvand News - 12/28/03 ... --

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