Update on Assistance to Victims of Iran’s Earthquake
We strive to be the credible voice of the Iranian American community. We are PAAIA.
August 21, 2012, Washington D.C. – Today, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a general license for fund transfers related to earthquake relief efforts to or for the benefit of persons in Iran. This general license, which is authorized until October 5, 2012, allows non-government and relief organizations to transfer funds into Iran for relief and reconstruction purposes.
The general license comes in response to a letter submitted by a coalition of Iranian American organizations, including PAAIA, who urged OFAC to issue a general license for assistance to the victims of the earthquake. PAAIA was also instrumental in urging numerous members of Congress to sign onto a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern over the possible hindrance of humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people and urging him to issue a general license for humanitarian aid to earthquake victims.
Most recent reports estimate the death toll at 306 and the total number of injured at over 3,000. Many of the injured, who had suffered minor injuries, have already been released from the hospital. To date, the Iranian government has not accepted any of the formal offers of assistance made by various embassies and governments, UNICEF, and NGOs. Though food and shelter are being provided to the victims of the earthquake, significantly more assistance will be needed to maintain the health and well-being of the victims of the earthquake as they begin rebuilding their lives and homes following this devastating tragedy.