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Reconstruction

Rolling up our sleeves
Relief International will begin Bam reconstruction

By Farshad Rastergar
January 5, 2003
iranian.com

Please note that the correct website for Relief International is ri.org and the direct donations page for the Iran Earthquake Relief Fund is: ri.org/iran/donation.htm.

I am glad to announce that the US Department of Treasury has issued a new license (No.IA-5761) to Relief International specific to the Bam earthquake. This supercedes RI's previous license for funds transfers to Iran that had a Dollar cap of $450,000. The new license is for an unlimited amount and has no cap. However, it has a 3-month limit within which funds can be transferred to Iran.

According to the OFAC officer in charge who called to give us the good news, the Treasury has issued about 7 licenses so far. Other licenses may take a few weeks. RI's license was expedited based on previous reviews and based on a history of past and current grants with the USAID, US Deppartment of State and USDA.

I am glad to let you know that Cisco has set up an employee matching fund. CISCO and employees are sponsoring the reconstruction of shelter for villagers whose homes have been destroyed by sponsoring one or more villages for total reconstruction.

Also Intel in addition to making a corporate donation is likely to begin an employee matching fund for village reconstruction.

Below please find photos of similar projects RI has implemented in Iran (as well as in Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Afghanistan and elsewhere). The cost of a small 2 room shelter unit that meets the required earthquake safety requirements is about $2,000 (compared to the cost of a winterized tent at the cost of $800). The cost of an average 4 room schools is about $20,000. Some photos can be viewed in the attached file and more will be posted on our site shortly.

Finally, just last night RI obtained the required licenses from the Iranian authorities to rebuild 500 shelter units in the low-income neighborhoods of Bam and in 28 surrounding villages that have been devastated by the quake. Estimates are that 8,000 families have lost their home.

So far we have raised $250,000 that is being made available for the provision of shelter to 125 families. Finalization of the village selection took place on Friday January 2nd. RI will begin the task of reconstruction IMMEDIATELY thereafter.

I thank you for your support in the past and hope that together we can provide a basic shelter to at least 1,000 families. I am gladly available if I can provide any additional information >>> Bam benefit concert, Palo Alto, Saturday, January 10 (donations go to RI)

Author

Farshad Rastegar, PhD, is CEO of Relief International.

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