UN response to support Government-led efforts to help people affected by floods in Iran
08 April 2019
We all, at the UN, are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injuries and damage caused by the severe floods in Iran.
We all, at the UN, are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injuries and damage caused by the severe floods in Iran. On behalf of the UN family and on behalf of the Secretary General, let me again extend my sincere condolences to the families of the victims, to the Government, and to the people of Iran. We want to recognize the government’s search and rescue efforts. However, loss and damage of critical infrastructure (homes, roads, railways, etc.) is significant. We note that floods are continuing, and the Government rescue and relief operations are ongoing. The UN and international community are strongly committed to supporting the Government and the people of Iran at this critical time. We had and continue to have excellent and close cooperation with the government particularly the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior.
We have had and continue to have excellent close coordination and cooperation with the government and international community on our response to this emergency. So far, the UN has made available, over and above our existing and general resources, 1,420,000 USD for the ongoing immediate flood response with emergency medical supplies, water, sanitation, hygiene, health and shelter. After immediate life-saving assistance, the UN and international community continue to support government-led efforts for mid-term and long-term strategies to mitigate natural disasters and therefore more funding is needed for immediate, medium and long-term actions. In spite of the challenges caused by the prevailing political climate, the UN has been able to deliver appropriate and timely support, particularly for the procurement and delivery of necessary items to the country. We continue to work with all concerned parties to effectively address humanitarian needs.
It is also important that you know that it is not just the UN in Iran but all over, our Headquarters, whether in New York, or Geneva or Vienna are very committed to ensuring that the UN’s work continues unhindered. While in New York working with colleagues in the UN HQ on support to the UN in Iran, I closely followed the ongoing crisis in Iran on social media. I was touched by the stories of people’s dignity, strength of human spirit, resilience, and support for one another; communities have been united by this tragedy. Children donating their Nowruz gifts for flood victims. In the area of Health, UN supports the efforts of the Ministry of Health, and is providing technical assistance with essential health services and emergency medical supplies. Regarding Emergency Shelter, the UN supports the efforts of IRCS, the Housing Foundation and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and is providing technical assistance for the establishment and management of temporary shelters and emergency shelter supplies. With regards to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, the UN supports the Ministry of Industry and MoH on plans to provide drinking water and washing facilities for household needs and hygiene purposes.
For Education, the UN supports the Ministry of Education (MoE) and is in the process of providing technical assistance and supplies for temporary learning spaces as based on consultations on the ground. Concerning Support for Protection, the UN supports the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare (MCLSW), MoH and IRCS and their psycho-social support teams. To support Early Recovery, the UN works with National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) and relevant line Ministries’ efforts to address the needs of the most affected people and communities. We know that women, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly are usually the most vulnerable within the affected population and therefore deserve special attention. We further wish to recognize that Iran has been, for nearly four decades, a generous and welcoming host for close to a million refugees and many other from abroad. In line with this tradition, it is heartwarming to see how the needs of these groups have been responded to in an equitable manner. In coordination with national and local authorities, the UN will undertake field visits to the affected areas to demonstrate our solidarity but more importantly to understand what the most critical needs are, and how best our assistance can support those affected by the floods. We look forward to continuing our effective cooperation and will assist the authorities with the recovery efforts. The UN is here to make a difference. It’s an honor for me to be here and we are at your service.