OPEC Fund provides emergency grant for earthquake victims in Algeria
The OPEC Fund for International Development has approved an emergency assistance grant of $500,000 to help purchase relief supplies for victims of the earthquake that struck northern Algeria last week.
Measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale, the quake, which is one of the most severe to hit the country in over two decades, has left at least 2,200 people dead and more that 9,000 people injured.
Areas worst affected were the capital Algiers, the district of Bourmerdes and the cities Rwaba City and Abu Mardas, and a series of powerful aftershocks have caused further destruction. An estimated 20,000 people have been left homeless, and major infrastructure such as telecommunication lines, hospitals and public buildings has been extensively damaged.
Algeria’s President Bouteflika is chairing a Disaster Crisis Committee to deal with this situation more closely, and the Algerian Red Crescent Society (ARC) has been fully mobilized at all disaster sites. The government has launched an appeal to the international donor community for assistance, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has sent a Field Assessment and Coordination Team to assist the ARC in quantifying emergency requirements. Immediate needs so far are food, temporary shelters, blankets, mattresses, medical kits, water purifiers and cooking utensils.
The OPEC Fund’s contribution to the aid effort will be used to help procure essential relief supplies and finance emergency operations undertaken by the ARC. It will be channeled through the IFRC. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)