KUWAIT CITY, April 3, (Agencies): Ministerial Council’s Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Roudhan announced on Wednesday, based on His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah commands, the ministerial council decided to send urgent aid to floods’ victims in Iran. The council charged Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society and Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry to organize the aiding process as soon as possible – also expressing condolences to the victims’ families. Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KCRS), meanwhile, said that it would dispatch diverse and urgent aid to flood-hit people in Iran soon.
“The society will launch an immediate aid campaign for affected Iranians next week, involving medical and food supplies,” KRCS Board Chairman Hilal Al-Sayer said to KUNA. The society has set up a committee to set out an action plan to provide humanitarian aid to flood-hit people in Iran, he added.
The Kuwaiti charity would work with its Iranian counterpart, along with other humanitarian organizations, to offer immediate relief aid to affected people in the Islamic republic, Al-Sayer pointed out. Over 50 people were killed in recent heavy rains and flash floods that hit several provinces in Iran. Iran’s oil minister on Wednesday urged local oil and gas firms to help with providing aid to victims of the flooding, as one international aid agency announced extra funds to bolster relief efforts.
At least 26 of Iran’s 31 provinces have been hit by heavy downpours that began on March 19. The flooding – the country’s worst in a decade – has killed 62 people, the head of crisis management at the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization said on Wednesday, according to student news agency ISNA.
A state of emergency was declared in several provinces including oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan, where state news agency IRNA said 70 villages were ordered evacuated on Tuesday. Iranian drilling companies and other energy firms have been assisting rescue efforts in flooded areas, notably using their pumps to remove water. But Minister Bijan Zanganeh suggested they should do more.
“Along with performing their essential duties, (firms in the sector) should use all of their existing capabilities to help the people and reduce the flood waters,” he said on the ministry’s newsfeed. Western oil and gas firms have been forced to pull out of Iran since Washington last year reimposed economic sanctions after quitting a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
President Hassan Rouhani, whose critics have accused him of mismanaging the emergency response to the disaster, on Wednesday said the sanctions were hampering efforts to deliver aid, echoing comments by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.