Iran News ...


12/31/03

Iran President says NGO to oversee Bam reconstruction, lauds nations on quake aid

Iranian president Mohammad Khatami said in Kerman on Tuesday that a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) will be set up with the responsibility of reconstructing the quake-devastated city of Bam, IRNA reported.

Speaking at a press conference with domestic and foreign reporters he also hinted that the NGO will include the President himself, and several domestic and foreign personalities.


photo: ISNA

He said the Bam quake is in a different scale compared with similar natural disasters and lauded the assistance extended by all the governments and people in the world.

"The outpouring of emotions throughout the world for the quake victims is indeed quite commendable," Khatami added.

He also vowed that all the quake victims will be compensated for financial damages inflicted on them.

Expressing sorrow on the destruction of the Bam's ancient citadel, he said "the international sentiments is also in favor of assisting in rebuilding the edifice."

The government cabinet has drawn up an emergency, short-term and long-term plan for the reconstruction of Bam."

The long-term plan aims at proper rationing of food and provision of household items to the victims, rehousing of homeless people, notable the women and children, and taking care of affairs of the injured, Khatami stated.


photo: ISNA

Khatami acknowledge inefficient coordination of aid and relief activities as a problem in the country and said the model of foreign relief workers is "beneficial" and should be emulated.

He further thanked all the organizations involved in the relief aid to the quake victims "on a job well done."

On the issue of the recent statements by the US officials sympathizing with the Iranian people, he said "I do not think that Iran-US relations will be resolved because of the quake." There has to be a fundamental change in the US behavior towards the Iranian government and people. "The humanitarian and political issues should not be mixed."

If negotiations means the hegemony of one side, who is stronger, over the other, it becomes useless Khatami said, adding "we have not seen good will from the US."

He further brushed aside rumors that a nuclear test in the area was the trigger for the quake saying "although these assertions have swirled around they are totally useless."

"There is no place for nuclear weapons in our religious tents or defense and security doctrine," the Iranian president underlined.

Meanwhile, Cabinet ministers earmarked rls 3,410 billion (dlrs 425 million) to rehabilitate the tragedy-hit city of Bam.

The Management and Planning Organization (MPO) said on Tuesday that the cabinet held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to allocate fund for rehabilitation of the city.

Rls 720 billion (dlrs 90 million) will be spent on emergency crisis management and mobilization of the government resources to regulate the reconstruction drive in the city, it said.

Another part of the fund will be spent to provide emergency supplies, food and medicines and medical treatment for those wounded in the disaster.

Part of the fund will be paid to support the police force deployed in the city and those who lost their family members as well as the entire residents of Bam.

Some rls 1,440 billion (dlrs 180 million) of the fund will go to rebuild infrastructure in the city, including construction of schools and restoring drinking water networks of the city.

The MPO said that the cabinet asked the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to extend rls 1,250 billion (dlrs 156 million) of loans for the people to build their houses.

... Payvand News - 12/31/03 ... --



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