Skip to main content
Skip to sub-navigation
About USAID Our Work Locations Policy Press Business Careers Stripes Graphic USAID Home
United States Agency for International Development Iran USAID
Home »
Press Release »
Statement from the White House »
OFDA Fact Sheets »

How Can I Help?
Iran Relief News

USAID: Assistance for Iranian Earthquake Victims

  • 12/01/06: Sudan
    Complex Emergency
    Situation Report #5
    (Country Index)
  • 12/01/06: Lebanon
    Complex Emergency
    Situation Report #8
    (Country Index)
  • 11/17/06: Lebanon
    Complex Emergency
    Situation Report #7
    (Country Index)
  • 11/17/06: Sudan
    Complex Emergency
    Situation Report #4
    (Country Index)
  • 11/09/06: Lebanon
    Complex Emergency
    Situation Report #6
    (Country Index)
  • 11/03/06: Sudan
    Complex Emergency
    Situation Report #3
    (Country Index)

    Get Acrobat Reader...

  • Search

    Assistance for Iranian Earthquake Victims

    Map of Iran with earthquake epicenter highlighted

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, on December 26, 2003, at 05:27 local time, an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck southeastern Iran's Kerman Province. The epicenter of the earthquake, with a depth of 10 km, was near the city of Bam, 180 km southeast of the provincial capital of Kerman and 975 km southeast of Tehran. To view a PDF map illustrating the population directly affected by the earthquake, click here.

    According to the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART), the GOI estimates that 85 percent of buildings have been destroyed in Bam and the surrounding area. Out of the original population of approximately 115,000, the Government of Iran (GOI) estimates that 45,000 people are homeless, and this number is expected to rise to 75,000 upon the return of those currently staying with relatives or being hospitalized outside Bam. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (UN OCHA), the GOI estimates the earthquake resulted in the deaths of 30,000 people and injured 30,000 residents.

    According to the USAID/DART, priority needs are water and sanitation, internally displaced persons, and shelter.

      Total Population Killed (Estimate) 30,000 UN OCHA / GOI
      Total Population Injured (Estimate) 30,000 UN OCHA / GOI
      Total Homeless (Estimate) 45,000 - 75,000UN OCHA / GOI
      Earthquake-damaged buildings in Bam, Iran

      Total USAID/OFDA Earthquake Assistance to Iran$3,702,645
      Total USG Earthquake Assistance to Iran$5,714,930



      • According to a January 15 UN OCHA report, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has distributed approximately 100,000 food rations to date. In addition, there are three mobile bakeries and three permanent bakeries with a total capacity of 4.4 metric tons (MT) of bread per day. Furthermore, 30 MT of bread, baked in Kerman, is distributed daily in Bam. WFP reports that residents have been issued ration cards to ensure an adequate and fair distribution of food.


      • The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that an ancient system of underground irrigation canals, called qanats, may be badly damaged, threatening the long-term future of agriculture in the region. According to the local government, 25 out of 64 qanats in the region have been damaged.
      • In the U.N. Flash Appeal, the FAO reports that, in addition to damage to the irrigation system, the agricultural infrastructure and livestock shelters will also need repairs.
      • According to the FAO, agriculture provides employment for more than 25 percent of the population in the Bam region.


      • On January 13, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Cross Societies (IFRC) reported that the IFRC hospital receives approximately 550 outpatients per day.
      • On January 13, the IFRC announced that the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) will deploy approximately 75 volunteers in 11 teams to implement a psychological support program over the next six months. Each team will include a psychologist, a nurse, a relief expert, and educators. In each district, the IRCS will erect two large tents where people, particularly mothers and children, can participate in recreational activities and income generation activities. In addition, the program will use local radio to provide advice on coping with trauma as well as train local people in psychological support activities for the long term. The GOI Ministry of Health estimates that 25,000 people will need special psychological support to overcome the trauma of the earthquake.

      Debris Removal

      • According to a January 9 UN OCHA report, at least 12 million MT of debris needs to be salvaged, removed, and recycled. The USAID/DART reported that several trucks and diggers were carrying away debris, and residents were clearing debris with shovels and wheelbarrows.

      Afghan Refugees

      • According to UN OCHA, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that more than 400 Afghans were repatriated to Afghanistan from Bam on January 13. UNHCR facilitated the repatriation of 200 to 300 families to Afghanistan earlier in January. While there are no exact figures on the number of Afghan refugees who died in the earthquake, UNHCR reports that there were 3,300 registered Afghan refugees living in Bam


      • The 81-member USAID/DART team arrived in country on December 30 via two C-17s and a C-130. The USAID members included a Team Leader, Deputy Team Leader, Operations Coordinator, Planning Coordinator, Communications Officer, Information Officer, and Security Officer. Other components of the DART included the 11 member Fairfax County USAR Task Force (VA-TF1) and the 57 member International Medical/Surgical Response Team (IMSuRT) and 6 member Management Support Team (MST) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
      • While in Bam, the USAID/DART conducted needs and structural assessments and coordinated with the GOI, the U.N., and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). From December 31 to January 4, the IMSuRT field hospital treated 727 patients, 30 percent of whom had earthquake-related injuries, including surgeries and post-trauma mental health cases. The IMSuRT field hospital closed on January 5, and new patients were referred to the IFRC field hospital.
      • As of January 14, all USAID/DART members had left Bam to return to the United States.
      • Before departing Bam, the USAID/DART donated the IMSuRT field hospital and medical supplies to the IFRC as well as two trucks and select equipment to the IFRC, for use by IFRC and the Bam fire department. In addition, the USAID/DART donated a tent, vehicle, and various supplies to UN OCHA.
      • USAID/OFDA has sent five airlifts of relief commodities, consisting of 430 rolls of plastic sheeting, approximately 12,500 blankets, 1,146 winterized tents, and 4,448 kitchen sets at a total cost of $543,605.
      • To date, USAID/OFDA has provided $600,000 to the IFRC in support of the IFRC Preliminary Appeal and $211,610 to UN OCHA in support of the U.N. Flash Appeal.
      • According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), seven C-130s have airlifted approximately 68 MT of medical supplies, 2,000 blankets, and a 10K forklift to assist in offloading relief commodities in Bam.


      • On January 8, at a donor conference in Bam, the IFRC and the U.N. launched joint appeals to address emergency needs. The IFRC appealed for $42 million, which includes the previous appeal of $12.3 million, to assist as many as 210,000 people for up to 8 months. The U.N. appealed for $31.3 million for relief and rehabilitation for the next 90 days. The ceremony was attended by 140 representatives from the U.N., foreign governments, International Organizations, NGOs, journalists, and the USAID/DART.
      • The IFRC Appeal includes $12.3 million for shelter, $3.3 million for clothing, $4.3 million for food and seeds, $5.1 million for water and sanitation, $5.2 million for health, $298,000 for teaching materials, $4.3 million for utensils and tools, and $16.1 million for equipment, program support, and administrative services.
      • The U.N. Flash Appeal includes $2.5 million for food and logistics, $5.7 million for water and sanitation, $6.3 million for health and nutrition, $3.7 million for the protection of children and women, $3.9 million for education, $200,000 for cultural heritage, $2.5 million for shelter, and $261,610 for coordination and security.
      • According to UN OCHA, more than 44 countries sent personnel to assist in rescue and relief operations in Bam.
      • On January 13, UN OCHA reported that 60 countries had pledged assistance to Iran to date.


      Activity Location  Amount 
      USAID* Logistics and commodities Earthquake-affected regions $1,421,785
      IFRC Contribution to Preliminary Appeal for commodities Earthquake-affected regions $600,000
      UN OCHA CoordinationEarthquake-affected regions $211,610
      USAR* Urban search and rescue team support Earthquake-affected regions $668,200
      FEMA* Medical assistance team support Earthquake-affected regions $720,000
      Administrative Earthquake-affected regions $81,050
      DOD* Commodities and air transportation Earthquake-affected regions $2,012,285
      *These represent estimated costs as of January 15, 2004

      Donors should be aware that donations for the Iran earthquake response are subject to compliance with the Iranian Transactions Regulations, issued by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and with any law or other regulation applicable to such donation. More information is available at

      Back to Top ^

    Fri, 16 Jan 2004 07:53:27 -0500