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Iran: Government approves 1.2 trillion rials for Bam reconstruction - daily

Tehran, June 10, IRNA-- Iran's government has so far approved of 1.2 trillion rials (1 dollar is worth 8,000 rials) in reconstruction funds for the southeastern city of Bam, destroyed by 70 per cent as a result of a devastating earthquake last year, wrote an English-language daily here Thursday.

A killer quake with a magnitude of 6.3 degrees on the Richter scale rocked the historical city of Bam, in Kerman Province, on December 26, 2003, killing over 30,000 people and injuring tens of thousands of others.

According to the Zurich-based Swiss Re, the earthquake in Bam was the fourth largest in terms of victims since 1970.

Head of the Islamic Revolution's Housing Foundation Mohammad Saedikia said in a press conference on Wednesday that four banks have been tasked with gathering loans to the quake-hit-residents of the once tourist city, reported 'Iran Daily'.

Saedikia further said the World Bank's dlrs 300 million, the Islamic Development Bank's dlrs 200 million and Japan's dlrs 40 million loans have so far been finalized.

He also noted that Spain has agreed to grant a two-million-dollar package provided that Spanish equipment is used in reconstruction projects.

Pointing to the reconstruction operation of the city's 69-bed hospital, the daily quoted Saedikia as saying that some 50 billion rials have been allocated for the operation.

He further noted that the hospital would resume its activities in November, the daily said.

... Payvand News - 6/10/04 ... --

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