A United Nations Strategy for Support to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran Following the Bam Earthquake of 26 December 2003

Document Type : Risk Management


1 South and Southwest Asia, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

2 UNDP, India Country Office

3 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Tehran



After the earthquake on 26 December 2003 with magnitude 6.3 which struck the historic city of Bam and its surrounding villages and took the lives of nearly 26,500 people, left over 25,000 injured and about 75,000 homeless; the United Nations agencies in the Islamic Republic of Iran have worked closely with the Government to respond to the immediate needs of the affected people, by undertaking a rapid needs assessment and launching a Flash Appeal to address the urgent and immediate needs of the affected population, and to facilitate a smooth transition from the immediate rescue and relief phase to a medium and long-term reconstruction and recovery phase. The UN has committed itself to supporting the Government not only in the provision of short-term relief, but also in long-term reconstruction, recovery and risk reduction. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan offered support for an international conference on the reconstruction of Bam as well as organizing an international workshop on earthquake disaster risk management. Recognizing the value of a concerted UN approach that complements the Government's reconstruction and disaster risk reduction efforts, the UN System in consultation with its national and international partners has prepared a strategy document, using methods of social research such as participant observation, case studies, the use of key informants, group discussions and individual in-depth interviews. The strategy builds on past efforts of the UN System in the Iran and on the UN Flash Appeal of 8 January 2004. It outlines UN support to the Government of Iran for reconstruction, rehabilitation and risk reduction over the next five years, and details specific activities in the short, medium and long term.