EghtesadOnline: The government of Japan will extend a $2.5 million Emergency Grant Aid to Iran for damage caused by the floods that devastated the country at the beginning of the current Iranian year (started March 21).
The decision was conveyed to President Hassan Rouhani by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Iran-Japan meeting in Tehran on June 12, according to a press release posted on the website of Japan’s Embassy in Iran on Sunday.
The press release outlines where and how the grant may be spent, saying the Emergency Grant Aid is aimed at providing humanitarian assistance in the areas of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), protection for vulnerable people, health, education and early recovery for the people affected by the floods.
About 60,000 people will be directly reached through emergency water, sanitation and hygiene interventions, 40,000 people through emergency education interventions, 30,000 people through emergency child protection interventions and 160,000 people will be reached by essential and life-saving medicines, equipment and health services, Financial Tribune reported.
Flash floods caused by heavy raining in Iran inundated 25 of Iran’s 31 provinces, inflicting losses amounting to 350 trillion rials ($2.5 billion) to the country's agriculture, roads, transportation, energy, oil, industrial and telecommunications sectors, according to Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.
Dozens of people were killed and many lost their homes.
President Hassan Rouhani issued a decree to withdraw €2 billion from the National Development Fund of Iran after receiving permission from the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The funds were to be allocated to alleviate the plight of flood-hit residents and help rebuild destroyed infrastructure.
According to Fatemeh Zolqadr, a Tehran MP, said the current year’s budget cannot compensate the losses inflicted by the destructive flooding.
“Apart from withdrawal from the sovereign wealth fund, other options to help the flood victims rebuild their lives include issuing participatory bonds and opening credit lines by CBI for agent banks,” ICANA, the parliamentary news website, quoted Zolqadr as saying.
Central Bank of Iran’s Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati admitted that given the scale and scope of the damage, the current budget resources are insufficient and cannot meet all the needs of flood-hit regions.
“As a result, tapping into NDFI is inevitable,” he said.