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Iran: Group of writers set up cultural camps in Bam

A group of writers comprising of members of the Golshiri Foundation, Popular Organs Coordination Council and Iran's Writers Syndicate have set up cultural camps in the two quake-hit areas of Bam and Baravat, IRNA reported from Tehran.

A member of the Popular Organs Coordination Council, Mansoureh Behkish, told IRNA Sunday that during their four-day visit to the area, the writers set up the two camps with the aim of raising the spirits of the quake victims and developing their cultural potentials.

"The group launched its activity in Bam with 17 members, but it is going to expand, given that more manpower and facilities are being gradually sent to the area.

"Besides taking charge of direct distribution of relief packages in the area, a number of tailor and hairdresser shops have also been opened to help keep the women occupied and spare them from staring at the ruins of their quake-hit city and creating hope of better future life," she added.

Behkish noted that in coordination with Tehran publishers, the group is intent on opening a library in the area in a few days.

Turning to the prospect of release of quake warning reports by the group as another measure to be taken in Bam and Baravat, she said, "The members touring the area will issue reports on the earthquake toll rate, the procedure of relief supply and the role of news dissemination in reducing the damages of possible tremors."

She noted that Bam residents prefer to be given the basic food items instead of canned food.

"Besides given that the tents distributed among the residents of the quake-stricken cities are mostly used and torn-up, they still expect the government would provide them with more suitable basic facilities," she concluded.

85 foreign rescue teams help Bam quake survivors

Head of Iran's Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Ahmad-Ali Nourbala said on Monday 85 foreign rescue teams from 71 countries dispatched humanitarian aid to the survivors of the devastating earthquake which hit the city of Bam in southeastern Iran on December 26, IRNA reported from Tehran.

In the meeting of Red Cross and Red Crescent national associations for donation of humanitarian relief assistance to quake-stricken people of Bam, Nourbala appreciated the presence of foreign rescue teams in the city of Bam.

Representatives of 27 countries throughout the world are taking part in the meeting held in Tehran.

Referring to the death toll and damages inflicted on the villages in the vicinity of Bam, head of IRCS added that over 650 villages were destroyed in the killer earthquake.

Secretary General of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) Markku Niskala, in the meeting, expressed sympathy with the survivors of the quake.

The cooperation between the ICRC and the IRCS has led to the gaining of valuable experiences for the ICRC, said Niskala.

Some official agreements are scheduled to be signed between the ICRC and the IRCS in the very next future, added Niskala.

Niskala termed as difficult their current duty in Bam, adding, "At present, we are trying to improve the psychological conditions of the quake-stricken people in the city."

Representatives from Japan, the UK, France, the US, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Greece and South Korea took part in the meeting.

... Payvand News - 1/20/04 ... --

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