MSF lends hand to Iran quake victims

DUBAI — Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has a mission in Iran which is coordinating with the Iranian Red Crescent to provide assistance to residents in central Iran which was hit by a powerful earthquake early Tuesday morning.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Thu 24 Feb 2005, 9:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:35 PM

“The Iranian Red Crescent is well-organised and swift in its rescue and aid operations. They called on us and we were ready to lend assistance. We had two nurses, two doctors and assistants who provided medical items yesterday," Fouad Ismael, Executive Director, MSF-UAE, told Khaleej Times.

MSF is an international, independent, non-profit, emergency medical relief organisation which relies on volunteers to provide aid without discrimination, regardless of race, creed, or political affiliation.

He said that compared to the earlier earthquake that hit Bam in December 2003 killing 26,000 people, Tuesday's earthquake was less disastrous. “We were notified that the death toll was 700, while more than 900 were injured. Houses and mosques were totally devastated. We've been in discussion with the local authorities there and the situation is well under control,” Ismael stated.

MSF's mission in Iran also have a project for Afghan refugees, so they were well-prepared to rapidly and efficiently respond to disaster. One of MSF's strengths is logistics: the ability to refine and standardise both equipment and procedures that are flexible enough to respond immediately to the vast needs created by a disaster. MSF teams have developed and tested emergency and relief equipment packed in order to be rapidly assembled on site.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Consulate has so far not received any calls from Iranian expatriates who have relatives in the Kerman province, 1,000km southeast of Teheran.

“There are not so many people in the Zarand area, and I believe no one from here comes from that place. There might be some from Zarand, but so far, the consulate has not received any calls from Iranian expatriates here,” said Afshari, an official at the Iranian Consulate, adding that majority of the Iranians in Dubai hail from Teheran, Bam and other cities.

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