News ID: 251501
Published: 0150 GMT April 16, 2019

Iran thanks countries for sending humanitarian aid to flood victims

Iran thanks countries for sending humanitarian aid to flood victims

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday thanked all countries which have sent humanitarian aid to the flood-stricken people across the country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said the international humanitarian aid for the country's flood-affected people indicates a sense of responsibility, sympathy and solidarity between nations, according to IRNA.

According to the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), Kuwait, Germany, Azerbaijan, France, Pakistan, Turkey, Armenia, South Korea, and Japan as well as the World Health Organization have so far delivered humanitarian aid to Iran.

However, the Iranian Red Crescent Society has repeatedly blamed the US sanctions against Iran for preventing foreign aid from reaching the country.

The head of IRCS, Ali Asghar Peyvandi, said that the International Red Cross Society (RCS) has approved 500,000 euros aid for the flood-stricken people in Iran, but the IRCS has not received it.

Furthermore, according to Peyvandi, EU's aid money has also not been deposited into the IRCS's bank account.

"We have told the RCS that the sanctions imposed on Tehran should not harm the Iranian people," Peyvandi asserted, adding, "We have urged RCS to pave the way for financial aid to reach Iran, in any way possible."

Meanwhile, Peyvandi maintained that since IRCS's SWIFT and hard currency accounts are blocked under the US sanctions, the society has not received a penny from abroad, so far.

An estimated two million people need humanitarian assistance as a result of massive floods that have swept across Iran, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Monday.

The Geneva-based organization said it had launched an international emergency appeal seeking 5.1 million Swiss francs ($5.1 million) to expand support by the Iranian Red Crescent Society to an additional 30,000 families – equivalent to about 150,000 people.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said heavy rain across the country since March 19 had caused 350 trillion rials ($8.3 billion at the official rate set by the government) in damage to roads, bridges, homes and farmland.

"Twenty-five provinces and more than 4,400 villages across the country were affected by the floods," Fazli told Parliament.

Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami told lawmakers "725 bridges have been totally destroyed."

"More than 14,000km of roads have been damaged," he said

Iran’s worst floods in 70 years had killed at least 76 people and forced more than 220,000 into emergency shelters, officials said.

Officials have again issued flood warnings for the east of Iran with heavy rains that began on Saturday forecast to continue.





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