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Iran: Earthquake emergency response project information document

World Bank
Дата публикации

Project Name: IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF-IR-Earthquake Emergency Response
Region: Middle East and North Africa Region



Project: P080802

Borrower(s): GOVERNMENT

Address: Nasser Khosrow Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Contact Person: Mr. Mohamed Khazaee Torshizi
Fax: 98-21-390-1033

Environment Category: B (Partial Assessment)

Date PID Prepared: October 6, 2002

Auth Appr/Negs Date: November 8, 2002

Bank Approval Date: February 27, 2003

1. Country and Sector Background

The June 22, 2002 Earthquake An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale struck the four Provinces of Qazwin, Zanjan, Hamedan and Markazi in Iran on 22 June 2002. This has resulted in 232 deaths, 1,466 injuries and more than 33,085 damaged houses. The Government of Iran (GOI) estimates the value of the damages to be around US$140 million. These refer to destruction of buildings, loss of household properties and commercial equipment, as well as damage to social and public infrastructure, livestock and agricultural production means. They exclude losses in wages, production, market share, sales, tax revenue, as well as the actual cost of the relief effort and financial compensation. The data on damages indicates that the most important impact has been on the region's housing and social infrastructure, such as schools, health centers, hospitals and cultural/historical buildings.

Most of the population affected by the disaster is of the low-income groups who live in mud-constructed houses, with limited means to build better structures, and other materials such as bricks and cement have also been used without adequate reinforcement. The region's infrastructure also suffered considerable damage including the primary and secondary roads, transmission lines and the water and sewerage systems. The earthquake also caused direct damages to livestock, agricultural crops, deep wells, and irrigation systems, rural roads and to processing and storage structures and farm equipment as well as assets of other input suppliers (fertilizers, pesticides). The earthquake affected a total of 373 villages and 4 cities.

Background of Qazwin, Zanjan, Hamedan and Markazi The provinces of Qazwin, Hamedan, Zanjan and Markazi are located in the northwest part of Iran and serve as a bridge between Tehran and the northern and western regions as well as the Caucasus republics and Europe. The affected area is highlands covered with mountains and green slopes. People engage in primary activities such as agriculture and cattle rearing. Qazwin, Zanjan and Markazi towns are important transit centers on the main route between Tehran and the Northwest of Iran. The provinces are highly susceptible to earthquakes and a number of the villages and towns of the area have been rebuilt in the past.

Country's seismic risks and their impacts Iran is known to be one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world. With two major seismic belts, the entire country faces moderate to very high seismic risks. One runs along the Zagros Mountains in southern Iran along the Persian Gulf. The other belt runs through northern Iran around the Caspian Sea. Earthquakes in the northern belt are particularly hazardous as many people live in this region. This northern seismic belt connects the tectonic activity in Turkey, to the west, to the on-going mountain building and seismicity in the Himalayas to the east. In the 20th century alone, 20 large earthquakes have claimed more than 140,000 lives, destroyed many villages and cities and caused extensive economic damage to the country.

Vulnerability and future risks in the areas affected by the June 2002 Earthquake

The major vulnerability derives from the fact that in the village areas affected by the earthquake, housing construction relies on the traditional methods of mud bricks and which lacks structural reinforcement. These local construction methods have a poor seismic safety record, particularly for low- income households and are a main cause of fatalities following earthquakes in the region.

Poverty is another element of vulnerability. As indicated in the Human Development Indicators, the affected provinces are amongst the poorest regions in the country. Agriculture activities, the primary source of income, have been affected and the population is deprived of the main sources of income. The remote access to the villages makes it difficult to deliver materials and support needed for reconstruction of their livelihoods.

Furthermore, according to the National Red Crescent Society, the affected provinces have historically received less attention in improving disaster management capacities as compared to other earthquake areas such as Rasht and Gilan. Infrastructure needed for relief activities such as relief centers for stocking relief goods and organization of volunteers have not been fully established. The Society sees this June earthquake as an opportunity to boost the populations' interest in strengthening the base for emergency response. It plans to construct relief centers to stock the relief goods and as a base of relief activities in these areas, matched with series of training programs for local volunteers.

Institutional capacity of emergency response and disaster management in Iran

Two issues remain critical in the country's disaster management system. First, the emergency response capacity has improved considerably, but it is not sufficient for a large earthquake or a natural disaster in urban areas like Tehran. Second, disaster management and planning system needs to be improved both at the local and national levels, particularly on the aspects of preparedness and risk mitigation.

Immediate response capacity of the GOI to emergencies involving search and rescue activities has considerably improved over the past decade, building on the experience of wars and previous earthquakes. Institutional mechanism has been established under the Ministry of Interior for emergency response. However, risk mitigation and preparedness aspects of the disaster management systems remain to be strengthened both at the national and local levels, including the enforcement of building codes, early warning and public education. This is crucial in view of the fact that the country is seismically prone and the potential impacts of the earthquakes on the country's economy. Inter-agency coordination on all aspects (research and development, training and application) and all stages of disaster management (prevention, relief, reconstruction) remain to be addressed to enable smoother transition from relief to reconstruction and to prepare for future potential disasters.

2. Objectives

The project objectives are to assist the GOI in:

(a) Relieving the social and economic hardship caused by the earthquake in Qazwin, Zanjan, Hamedan and Markazi, with a focus on reconstruction by:

- Enabling households and communities affected by the earthquake to restart agriculture; and,

- Reconstructing and repairing to earthquake resistant standards houses and social and economic infrastructure.

(b) Strengthening capacity of the government to prevent, respond to and recover from emergencies by:

- Developing effective systems and institutions for earthquake disaster monitoring, mitigation and management in order to reduce/minimize the impacts of future earthquakes, particularly on highly vulnerable social groups.

3. Rationale for Bank's Involvement

The Bank has accumulated a broad knowledge and growing operational experience in disaster response in more than 30 different developing countries over the past two decades. Its integral approach of combining reconstruction efforts to the enhancement of long-term preparedness for natural disasters and institutional strengthening has been gaining a stronger support in the developing countries. Particularly, its experience in assisting the borrowers in establishing disaster insurance programs has made the Bank's perspective in addressing long-term fiscal impacts of natural disasters and their reconstruction costs. Throughout the MNA Region, the Bank as assisted borrowers on post-disaster emergency reconstruction (e.g. Algeria, Iran, and Yemen). The Bank is thus in a strategically position to turn this natural crisis into an opportunity to strengthen national and local institutions in disaster management. The Bank is also in a strategic position to provide a platform for donors' assistance. The Bank's assistance is expected to establish a base for the Government to solicit donors' support in reconstruction.

4. Description

1. The proposed project will consist of five components:

(a) Housing Component (Nominative cost estimate: US$94 million); (b) Social and Public Infrastructure Component (Nominative cost estimate: US$31 million); (c) Agriculture Support Component (Nominative cost estimate: US$15 million); (d) Technical Assistance Component (Nominative cost estimate: US$23 million); and, (e) Project management (Nominative cost estimate: US$0.5 million).

(a) Housing Component

This component will consist of the provision of building material along with the on-going housing credit program targeting the victims as well as technical assistance and construction supervision in the affected areas. The previous Bank financed Earthquake Recovery Project (LN3301-IRN) financed purchase of materials and equipment to construct based on an earthquake- resistant housing model. This model will be reviewed during appraisal in terms of its suitability to local culture, availability of materials and disaster-resistant standards. Unit cost and its affordability will also be reviewed. Based on this review, a choice will be made on materials, construction structure. The Bank financing will cover the purchase of materials and equipments, matched with technical assistance on building system and quality assurance.

(b) Social and Public Infrastructure Component

This component would finance the rebuilding and repair of social infrastructure such as schools and community centers. This component would provide funding also for rebuilding and repairing of damaged water and sewerage systems in the affected areas, including consulting services required for the design and supervision of such subprojects. Public infrastructure would be reconstructed to earthquake-resistant standards. The corresponding utility or regulatory agency would ensure fulfillment of these norms. This will be monitored by means of standard government control mechanisms and will be subject to external financial and technical audits. This component is expected to generate temporary employment for skilled and semi-skilled laborers through the construction activities in the affected areas.

(c) Agriculture Support Component

The component will aim at providing support to restore the economic activities of the affected communities, namely in the agricultural sector. It will finance purchase of crops and livestock to replace the losses, the reconstruction of storage facilities and the provision of farming equipment as well as fertilizers and pesticides. Donor support would be solicited to cover the cost of this component.

(d) Technical Assistance Component

This component would strengthen the GoI's institutional capacity of: (a) national and local governments in the management of disaster risk; (b) research and training institutions; and (c) communities in the affected areas and those in the earthquake prone areas. While following up on the institutional needs that have arose since the 1990 Earthquake Recovery Project, it aims at strengthening inter-agency and inter-governmental coordination on disaster management. Proposed activities under this component would include:

Stocktaking of past national and local emergency response experiences in Iran. This would involve a review by independent team of international experts of emergency preparedness leading to the identification of policy, institutional and physical interventions aimed at reducing catastrophic losses from natural disasters (nominative cost estimate: US$0.5 million);

Preparation of preparedness and mitigation plans (nominative cost estimate: US$0.6million);

  • Zoning and land use mapping of high-risk areas. A risk map would be prepared for each of the four Provinces and would focus mainly at areas that suffer from social and economic deprivation. The map would define high-risk areas and those suitable for construction. It would also provide information on three different types of vulnerability whenever applicable: seismic, landslides and flooding (nominative cost estimate: US$0.5 million);

  • Technical assistance on the improvement of the early warning and monitoring system on seismic risks (nominative cost estimate: US$0.3 million);

  • Training on the enforcement of building codes for local governments (nominative cost estimate: US$0.3 million);

  • Training in the areas of disaster prevention and mitigation (nominative cost estimate: US$0.3 million);

  • Information dissemination and public awareness program on disaster risk mitigations (nominative cost estimate: US$0.5 million); and,

  • Technical assistance on the design of a national-scale disaster insurance program (nominative cost estimate: US$20 million.)
  1. Financing

Source (Total ( US$m))
BORROWER ($23.50)
IBRD ($140.00)
Total Project Cost: $163.50

6. Implementation

Before appraisal, GOI will prepare a draft Program Implementation Plan, spelling out the detailed institutional and implementation arrangements.

Implementation arrangements are proposed to build on the experience of the previous ERL on earthquake in 1990 (Earthquake Recovery Project: LN3301-IRN). To avoid duplications and delay, the implementation arrangements will maximize the existing arrangements on natural disaster relief and reconstruction programs of the Government except for the proposed sub- component on disaster insurance program. For the previous project, the National Project Coordinator was housed under the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance for Iran (OIETAI) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. Each sector ministry and agencies involved in the project components were responsible for conducting procurement and had reporting responsibilities to the Project Implementation Unit (PIU). In this project, it is proposed that the PIU, composed of the designates of each implementation agencies as sector/component coordinator will be housed under the Ministry of Interior (MoI). MoI, heading the National Committee on Natural Disaster Reduction (NCNDR) is in a strategic position to take the lead role in long-term policy development on disaster management. The NCNDR will serve as the Steering Committee for the Project to make major decisions and advise on the key direction of the Project. Procurement and monitoring of the component's investment will be carried under the PCU. Sector coordinators will ensure close supervision of the implementation agencies' performance. For the disaster insurance program, the Inter-Governmental Steering Committee on Disaster Insurance, composed of representatives of MoEAF, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, MoI and Management and Planning Organization has been established to discuss specifically on the insurance program. Establishment of a working group on this sub-component is being proposed. The relationship and modality of coordination between the Steering Committee for the Project and this Inter- Governmental Committee on Disaster Insurance remains to be clarified to minimize complication and delay. It is proposed that the MoEAF will head the Inter-Governmental Committee on Insurance. While a representative of the Inter-Governmental Committee participates in the Steering Committee, the Inter-Governmental Committee is specifically designated to provide overall directions and make critical decisions on the insurance sub-component. It is proposed that the designate of the working group on insurance program will take part of the PIU to coordinate this sub-component under the guidance of the Inter-Governmental Steering Committee.

7. Sustainability

The benefits of the program are expected to be sustainable due to the strong emphasis on capacity development and institutional strengthening throughout the project components. In reconstruction components (housing and social infrastructure), technical assistance is included to improve disaster- resistant construction and to supervise for quality control/assurance. In TA component, the institutional strengthening will be addressed both at national and local levels, in particular to improve inter-agency and inter- governmental coordination on disaster management. The sustainability of disaster management at the national level will be dependant on the participating agencies' participation in establishing an improved inter-agency coordination mechanism (flow of information, funds and sharing/delegation of tasks) through the TA component with support of the Management and Planning Organization. The sustainability of disaster management at the local level will be dependent on having effective participation in identifying mitigation measures, in building up the skills and capacities of communities and the local governments in managing these measures.

8. Lessons learned from past operations in the country/sector

Project Management Capacity: The common lessons in the past Bank-financed projects concern the readiness of the borrower for implementation. It is important to ensure adequate capacity to be built for carrying out procurement and disbursement. In the program preparation, through the implementation of PHRD grant, intensive advisory support on the Bank's procedures are being provided. The Bank will organize seminar on procurement and disbursement during the Program's launch, paying particular attention to the training needs of program implementation teams at the municipal level.

Lessons Learned by the GOI on earthquake reconstruction operations Since the 1990 earthquake in Gilan, a significant shift has occurred in the GOI's disaster reconstruction programs. This has included on one hand a move away from the provision of temporary shelter and infrastructure while on the other, an acceleration of permanent housing and reconstruction programs. More focus has been granted also to economic, socio-cultural and environmental issues and survivors played a major role in the design, management and implementation of housing reconstruction programs. In rural areas, people who were mostly dependent on land and farms were only relocated for safety purposes and in areas adjacent to the location of their original villages. Appropriate local construction material was used whenever possible. The above approach has resulted in a reduction in the cost of reconstruction an in increased satisfaction with the new settlement sites. The GOI has identified a number of shortcomings from the post-earthquake reconstruction programs of the last decades.

Lessons Learned from the Previous Earthquake Recovery Project in Iran (LN3301-IRN) The project design will build on lessons learned from the previous Bank financed Earthquake Recovery Project (LN3301-IRN). The project design will be simple and responsive to community needs. It will promote equitable development and will be based on the extensive participation of the local community. Whenever technically feasible, in-situ reconstruction will be promoted in order to take advantage of existing infrastructure and community facilities, and to minimize resettlement. Streamlined decision-making and procurement procedures for contracting civil works will be sought. In order to ensure quick disbursement, the project design will give special attention to the flow of funds and information and to the capacity of the proposed implementing agencies.

9. Environment Aspects (including any public consultation)

Issues: No significant environmental issues are anticipated at this point. This will be looked into in more detail at pre-appraisal.

10. Contact Point:

Task Manager
Amir Al-Khafaji
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20433
Telephone: 202-473-2187
Fax: 202-477-1993

11. For information on other project related documents contact:

The InfoShop
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20433
Telephone: (202) 458-5454
Fax: (202) 522-1500
Web: http:// www.worldbank.org/infoshop

Note: This is information on an evolving project. Certain components may not be necessarily included in the final project.

This PID was processed by the InfoShop during the week ending November 1, 2002.