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Iran: UNHCR part of joint UN earthquake relief effort

Briefing notes

Iran: UNHCR part of joint UN earthquake relief effort

24 February 2005

UNHCR is sending relief items to the victims of the earthquake that killed hundreds and left thousands homeless in central Iran on Tuesday. As part of a joint UN effort to help the survivors, UNHCR is donating family-size tents and 1,500 blankets to the Iranian authorities.

Thousands have been left homeless in the town of Zarand and some 40 surrounding villages after the earthquake. With unusually harsh winter conditions in the region, tents and blankets are essential for immediate relief. Over 5,000 Afghan refugees are registered as living in and around Zarand.

The Iranian government is so far handling all relief assistance and rescue operations. Just under one million Afghan refugees live in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the vast majority of them in urban areas or villages with the local Iranian population.