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NZ Red Cross Investigates Iran Aid Deployment


TO: News Editor For immediate use
Media Release 16 January 2004 Number of pages: 1


A New Zealand Red Cross assessor is travelling to Iran tomorrow (17 January) to investigate how New Zealand can further help the country recover from last month's devastating earthquake.

"With the emergency phase over, it's now time to look to Iran's future," says NZRC Director General, Flora Gilkison. "The scale of the disaster is so great that international assistance will be required for months to come."

"The people of Bam need adequate shelter, food, health services and sanitation for the foreseeable future. If they don't get this, we risk seeing epidemics developing and more suffering and heartache."

NZRC Operations Manager, Andrew McKie, of Wellington, will travel to the south-eastern Iranian city of Bam, which was almost destroyed by the Boxing Day earthquake, killing more than 30,000 people and leaving 75,000 homeless.

As a result of his assessment, NZRC may send a group of specialist relief staff to the field, and will also contribute targeted funds for the recovery of Bam and its shattered residents.

Mrs Gilkison says NZRC has already donated $50,000 for the emergency response to the earthquake, and has so far raised a further $120,000 to date through public donations to its Iran appeal. It also has experienced relief workers on stand-by for deployment if necessary.

The New Zealand Government has also contributed $200,000 to the Red Cross relief effort in Iran, which is being led by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

New Zealanders can continue to help earthquake victims by

* ringing 0900 33 100 to make an automatic $20 donation

* sending a donation to Freepost Red Cross, PO Box 12-140, Wellington

* making a credit card donation at www.redcross.org.nz.


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