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Monday, October 24, 2016
CAFOD aid arrives in Bam
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¬†Emergency relief supplies from the Catholic aid agency CAFOD have arrived in the Iranian city of Bam, which was hit by an earthquake ten days ago. CAFOD immediately pledged £100,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide to help their initial aid efforts and now the supplies of blankets and tents and cooking equipment are being used to help homeless victims of the disaster. Emergencies Officer, Maurice McQuillan, who is in Bam, said: "The situation is really bad people in general have tents and food but there is still confusion, the scale of the disaster is so big, there are people who are hungry and cold and everyone is completely traumatised. "This is a modern city where overnight people have been reduced to living in tents. They talk about the earthquake and what happened on that night and about those who have died but they can't seem to focus on their present needs or the future. All we can do at the moment is to try and look after their basic needs but in the future they will need counselling," added Mr McQuillan. The death toll in Bam is believed to have reached 30,000 and thousands of grieving people have been left homeless in temperatures, which fall below zero degrees Celsius. Mr Adel Jaffri, from Islamic Relief Worldwide, said: "We went out last night and met as many people as we could and distributed cooking utensils, soap and other basic hygiene materials in one of the camps. These are small but essential items for the people who have lost everything. "What we've achieved through working with CAFOD is a unity of purpose. We have a multi-cultural society not just in the UK but around the world, here in Iran we've been working side by side in the refugee camps and we have been able to introduce people from the Catholic agencies to Muslim elders and this is very important", said Mr Jaffri. CAFOD is also working in Bam through its partners Caritas Iran who are members of the global network of Catholic aid agencies. They are sending a convoy with £100,000 worth of relief supplies to Bam in the next few days. The Chairman of Caritas Iran, Bishop Ramzi Garmou, said: "The willingness to help the survivors of the Bam earthquake is truly impressive throughout the country. The Iranian Christian community will be able to organise a transport with urgently needed food, supplies and warm clothes from the country's capital to the disaster region in the next couple of days. "The money for these emergency relief supplies was collected by Christians throughout the country. To ensure that the many women and children left hungry and homeless amid freezing temperatures continue to receive the help most urgently needed, however, will require a continued joint effort by all", he added.
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