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Iran floods: UNHCR provides shelter materials

Briefing notes

Iran floods: UNHCR provides shelter materials

17 August 2001

Following the record rains that struck Iran's north-eastern provinces a week ago, UNHCR has been asked to provide emergency shelter materials for residents of Golestan province, where some 1.2 million persons have been affected by rains and floods that have caused at estimated US$62 million in damages, according to initial assessments.

UNHCR staff in Mashad in eastern Iran are today loading five trucks with 200 family tents and 2,000 plastic tarpaulins for delivery to Gorgan, capital of Golestan province.

There are some 48,000 Afghans living in Golestan province. It is not yet known if any Afghan refugees have been affected by the floods that have reportedly killed more than 200 persons and destroyed infrastructure, agriculture and livestock, housing and personal property valued at more than $78 million in north-eastern Iran.

Five UNHCR staff will be travelling with the shelter material that is leaving tomorrow morning for Gorgon. The staff will assess the needs of any refugees living in the province, and discuss with the authorities regarding any further help UNHCR may be able to provide the affected communities. UNHCR has additional stocks available in Mashad.

A UN assessment mission is currently the region, and will shortly report back regarding the extent of the damage caused by the record flooding, reportedly the worst that the region has seen in 200 years.

Iran hosts some two million Afghans, who make up the world's largest population of refugees worldwide.