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IRCS to Prepare Relief Aid to Yemen through UN

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Iranian Red Crescent
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TEHRAN, Dec. 2 (IRCS) _ Under-Secretary General of International Affairs and International Humanitarian Law of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Davood Bagheri said the Society’s food and medicine supplies would be sent to Yemeni people through the United Nations (UN).

Dr. Bagheri made the remarks during a press conference which was held in IRCS premises in Tehran on Saturday, December 1, adding that in the meeting with the UN Assistant Secretary-General it was decided that Iran would provide a list of medicines to be sent to Yemeni people for international references.

On November 19, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with the Middle East and Central Asia Rashid Khalikov and the Head of Regional Office of the Middle East and North Africa of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Iyad Nasr met and talked with Mahmoud Mohammadi Nasab, IRCS Secretary General, and discussed various issues, including humanitarian aids to Yemeni people.

“In the current situation, Iranian Red Crescent is specially focused on the crisis in Yemen,” said Bagheri. “What is occurring in Yemen these days is a human tragedy and as a public Society with humanitarian mandates, we must not be indifferent to this issue.”

So far, IRCS has sent 3,000 tons of relief, food, and health supplies to Yemen in 7 missions.

“After imposition of limitations on sending relief items to Yemen, IRCS President in a meeting with President of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), announced IRCS readiness to resume aids to Yemen with the support of the ICRC and render more relief and medical support,” said Bagheri. “We have experience in this field and our volunteers have announced their preparedness to go to Yemen and render relief to the people.”

Answering a question on the IRCS hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Bagheri said: “Iranian Red Crescent has 18 medical centers in 13 Asian, African and Southern America countries. The Iranian hospital in Dubai is over 45 years old, but regretfully, Emirates government has brought out a few limitations on visa and work permit for Iran Physicians and staff of the hospital, causing problem for the hospital.”

Recently, Dubai Health authority has sent a letter to insurance companies, instructing them to immediately suspend the Iranian Hospital due to lack of economy or charitable license.

“Iran will do its best to solve this problem, but it should be noted that the IRCS is not only responsible in this issue and is not the only decision- maker, but others such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are involved and we hope to pass this problem with the support of all the relevant organizations,” added Bagheri.

Mentioning that IRCS is a well-known National Society among the big family of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Bagheri said that International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has accepted IRCS’ ERU (Emergency Response Unit) and BHCU (Basic Health Care Unit) to be present in regional disasters.

He also referred to IRCS’ cooperation and negotiations with China, South Korea and Japan on exchange of experiences, saying: “Moreover, we have good cooperation with Canada, Germany and many other National Societies and we are conducting joint projects in the field of resilience with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as well as to obtain cash contributions for drought-affected province of Sistan and Baluchestan."

Referring to last year’s earthquake in the western province of Kermanshah, Bagheri said: “Iranian government has not asked for any international appeals, because the IRCS and other relief organization sources were adequate, but considering the magnitude of the earthquake and the damage it caused, some international organizations donated nearly USD 1 million through volunteering donations, health supplies and other relief items which have been distributed among the quake-affected people of Kermanshah.”