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Press centre


In Bam, children head back to school

BAM, 19 January 2004 – Less than one month after the devastating earthquake that destroyed much of the southern Iranian city of Bam, the first children will return to a Ministry of Education school today. The first of 26 temporary schools is scheduled to open in the city’s Zone 10, catering for up to 50 primary school children in an inflatable tent provided by UNICEF. The tent was erected late yesterday evening by UNICEF and Department of Education staff assisted by a group of willing students, eager to return to learning. More tents will be provided to this location Monday to help increase capacity for both primary and secondary school children in the coming days. Press release

Flash appeal

On Thursday, January 8, the United Nations launched an inter-agency humanitarian appeal for $31.3 million for 90-day, post-quake rehabilitation. Of that appeal, UNICEF has asked for $14 million to help children who survived the earthquake.


On 26 December 2003, an earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, struck the city of Bam in south-east Iran.  According to initial estimates, the earthquake killed 30,000 people, injured 40,000 others, with all residents of the city and surrounding villages – up to 120,000 people – affected. Ninety per cent of houses and more than half of other buildings were destroyed or heavily damaged.  UNICEF has made an appeal for emergency funds to help children who survived.  UNICEF Flash Appeal [pdf]

More news

UNICEF Executive Director visits devastated region in Iran
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy visits devastated region in Iran on Saturday, January 10, for a two-day day visit to inspect the damage caused by the earthquake in December and to assess the ongoing relief effort for children affected by the crisis.

Access to sanitation systems remain an issue
BAM,  6 January 2004 - “What we need most of all is a shower,” say the two families living in two tents in Baravat, on the outskirts of Bam. Eleven days after the earthquake that devastated 100 per cent of this particular area, families are struggling with their new environment. Full story

Lack of clean drinking water
A lack of clean drinking water has been a problem in Bam and its surrounding villages, so UNICEF has provided many temporary community water tanks to these areas, in addition to the water purification tablets distributed earlier this week.

First post-quake children born in Bam
Tehran, 1 January 2004 - The first post-quake children were born Thursday in the quake city Bam in southeast Iran, the news network Khabar reported. Independent sources in Bam confirmed the birth of the two boys in a mobile hospital in the city where more than 30,000 people died in the devastating quake that left most of the city destroyed. Khabar also reported that a young couple which was supposed to marry in Bam last Friday, the day of the quake, finally got married in the quake-city on Thursday. There was however no independent confirmation of a TV report on another miraculous rescue operation Thursday involving a 27-year-old man who had survived for six days as he was hidden in a wardrobe. (01/01/2004)

For further information, please contact:
Anis Salem, UNICEF Amman, (++962-79 557 9991)
Wivina Belmonte, UNICEF Geneva, (++ 41 79 204 2345)
Alfred Ironside, UNICEF Media, New York: (212) 326-7261 
Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media, New York:  (212) 326 -7452



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