Int’l aid for flood survivors trickles into Iran as US sanctions block cash donations

Several world countries have dispatched their aid supplies to the Iranian Red Crescent Society to be used for assisting those affected in the latest deadly floods. However, US sanctions haven’t allowed any foreign cash donation to be transferred to the Red Crescent accounts.

8 April 2019
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As devastating floods continue to wreak havoc in vast swaths of Iran, several world countries are rushing to help the survivors, dispatching humanitarian aid for those who are grappling to get back to their normal lives days after the natural disaster.  


German Red Cross has shipped 40 lifeboats with outboard motors as well as 80 sets for water rescuers such as helmets, vests and boots. The consignment also includes nine river rescue kits, containing ropes, backpacks and pulleys.

German humanitarian aid cargo sent for Iran flood survivors (Photo: Red Crescent’s Relief And Rescue Organisation)

The Iranian Red Crescent Society has confirmed receiving the cargo in a tweet. Logistics Deputy of the Red Crescent’s Relief And Rescue Organisation Said Matani says “80% of the equipment will be used in Khouzestan Province”.

Flash floods are currently hitting the south-western Khouzestan Province, home to nearly five million people. Officials have ordered evacuation of thousands of people in two counties, 12 cities and 110 villages in the region.


Also, Turkish Red Crescent has sent five trucks of consignment to Iran flood-affected regions. The aid includes 320 tents, 500 bedsteads, 100 hygiene kits, 1,625 blankets, 360 kitchen kits and 60 stoves. Red Crescent’s Relief And Rescue Organisation says the aid has been given out to the inhabitants of Tazeh Abad village, Aqqala county in the northern province of Golestan that was the first to be hit by the flash floods. The northern region is still trying to recover from the disaster.

Turkish and Iranian Red Crescent workers unloading humanitarin aid items sent by Turkey (Photo: Turkish Red Cross Society's Twitter @Kizilay) 

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund

UNICEF will send aid supplies to the Ministry of Health for immunization of flood-affected areas as well as nutrition of young children in those areas, according to a statement by the UNICEF office in Iran.


Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit has sent two tons of consignment to flood-hit areas. The relief items include: two water modules that can supply drinking water to 10,000 people per day as well as five water disinfection kits.

A screenshot of Swiss Embassy Iran tweet showing the European country's aid supplies have arrived in Iran 


Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah ordered Kuwait Red Crescent Society to send aid to flood victims in Iran. The Persian Gulf country has already sent two consignment of aid supplies to Iran. The Kuwaiti aid includes medical and food supplies.

Watch: Kuwait Red Crescent loads aid supplies for Iran flood survivors (@IFRC_MENA)


The European country has announced it will deliver aid supplies to the Iranian Red Crescent in the coming days to be used in Iran's flood-hit regions. The aid includes 114 motor pumps, 300 kitchen kits and 5,000 blankets.


The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has also sent aid supplies, including four thousand tents, blankets and folding beds to its regional station in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

Russian aid trucks ready to send aid from Armenia to Iran (Photo: Russia Emergency Situations Ministry)

“Responding to Iran’s request and in joint cooperation with Armenia’s Emergency Situations Ministry, humanitarian aid for the people hit by the floods has been sent,” reads Russia's Emergency Situation Ministry statement.

The Russian government created the centre in 2015 in the city in a bid to serve as a regional basis for humanitarian aid for Armenia and surrounding countries.

European Union  

The block of 28 European countries announced an initial amount of €1.2 million in response to the floods in Iran. The cash donation will be sent to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Societies Societies to be later transferred to the Iranian Red Crescent Society.

No cash received because of US sanctions 

However, due to the US sanctions, no monetary transfer will be realized to Iranian accounts. The Iranian Red Crescent says it has not received any cash donation.

“No foreign cash aids have been made to the Iranian Red Crescent Society, as there are basically no financial channels for such purpose,” said the Iranian Red Crescent in a statement.

“Even though, certain countries and organisations have announced their readiness to offer cash contributions, given the inhumane US sanctions against Iran, there is no channel for cash aids to be sent to IRCS as of this date,” it added.

“There is no obstacle for sending or receiving relief consignments, but cash donations are still not possible due to the US sanctions,” according to the statement.

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