“This is the worst damage from flooding in over 50 years in the country,” said Olivier Vandecasteele, Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) country director in Iran. “The floods have driven communities from their homes and entire villages have washed away.”
The past days have seen flooding hit Sistan and Baluchistan province in the south-east and most areas in Khuzestan province in the south-west continue to be under water. Recent alerts for recurring floods in Golestan Province have brought concerns to the already impacted communities. It is estimated that 10 million people have been affected by the floods since they first hit in March, while up to 2 million may need aid, according to UN.
Water has submersed and destroyed farming land, roads and bridges, leading to severe damage in the affected provinces. Some communities have been left disconnected from basic services such as safe drinking water, sanitation, shelter and health centres.
“Children need support to complete their school year because many schools have been destroyed or are unsafe to use. Clearly recovery and reconstruction will need extensive longer-term support,” Vandecasteele said.
NRC’s teams are working with the Iranian authorities in flood-hit provinces and is providing essential items such as hygiene kits, cash assistance, kitchen kits and non-food items as well as sludge pumps to support mud clearing efforts.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allocated 6 million NOK (about USD 710,000) to NRC, to respond to those affected by the disaster. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has also allocated 2 million SEK (about USD 210,000) for the response in Lorestan, Golestan and Khuzestan provinces. In addition, the EU has provided humanitarian aid of EUR 500,000 for essential support to the affected people.
“We are grateful to the donors for responding so swiftly to this crisis, enabling us to support Iran’s response efforts during this difficult time,” said Vandecasteele.