TEHRAN, 3 April (UNIC) -- United Nations agencies in Iran have so far made available about $450,000 in financial aid for emergency needs to the people of the earthquake-affected areas of Lorestan province. The United Nations agencies are also rushing help in the form of blankets, tents and health kits.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), have provided the financial aid and other assistance.
The step was taken following the assessment made by UN's Rapid Assessment Team, which has been in the Lorestan province since Saturday, during which it has toured the affected areas extensively and met a number of senior government officials to determine the need for emergency supplies.
The UNFPA, which has mobilized $100,000 as an initial contribution for the most urgent reproductive health and psycho-social needs of the earthquake victims, has within the framework of its five-year strategic plan for disaster preparedness, more than $600,000 worth of reproductive commodities and supplies already procured and stockpiled in the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) for potential distribution to the disaster affected areas. These items are for gynecological and obstetric care, neonatal care and child care, maternal care and even family planning programme.
The WHO is in the process of providing two new Emergency Health Kits sufficient for the medical needs of 20,000 people for a period of three months. At the same time, WHO is going to release $50,000 in cash to the local government to help with any urgent financial needs. Another $150,000 will be diverted from the Regional Emergency Funds in the coming days subject to negotiations with the national government. WHO is also establishing a field office in Doroud, comprising one international emergency health officer and a programme assistant to assist local health authorities in dealing with the health and medical needs of the affected population.
UNDP is providing $ 150,000 to support to the local government's efforts and initiatives in information and coordination, mobilizing communities for participation in planning and implementation of recovery and reconstruction programmes. Of the money allotted, $ 100,000 will come from Global Emergency Funds and the rest from local funds.
UNICEF-Iran has mobilized $100,000 and is sending around 10,000 blankets and 300 tents to provide immediate relief to children and families affected by the earthquakes. The first batch of supplies, including the tents and at least 2,000 blankets, is expected to arrive in the city of Boroujerd tonight and will be distributed immediately. The rest will follow shortly thereafter. UNICEF will send an expert team within the next two days to assess the educational needs and psychological situation of children. Based on the results of this assessment, further resources will be mobilized to support the authorities with temporary educational facilities, supplies and toys.
The OCHA is also providing $ 50,000 in cash to cover emergency needs of the people of Lorestan.
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