The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received from the Government of Japan the largest ever single contribution to its operations in Iran. WFP will use the US$7 million grant for its COVID-19 response to support Iranian health workers and strengthen the resilience of the refugee community in Iran.
Iran is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. It has been grappling with the new virus outbreak since 20 February. As of 29 March, the virus has claimed more than 2,000 lives and infected more than 30,000 people including a number of senior officials in the country.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Government and people of Japan for their generous support of our emergency operations in Iran,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Islamic Republic of Iran Negar Gerami. “Our emergency response capacity and deep-field presence will ensure that the funds are utilised in an agile and timely manner while addressing the needs of vulnerable people and supporting our humanitarian partner at this critical time.”
WFP will use 60 percent of the contribution to purchase a three-month supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for more than 5,000 staff and volunteers from the Iranian Red Crescent Society who are responsible for screening people at city entry points. PPEs include surgical masks, N95 masks and coverall gowns which will be airlifted into Iran from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai within coming days.
The remaining 40 percent of the contribution will go towards supporting 31,000 Afghan and Iraqi refugees living in settlements across the country. Refugees will receive food assistance to ensure that the food needs of this vulnerable group are maintained at an acceptable level during the outbreak. WFP will use a small portion of the funds to conduct personal hygiene training for school children and their families in refugee settlements.
Original source: WFP
Published on 30 March 2020