Iran: distributing 30,000 food parcels to people in need during Ramadan

Published: 19 July 2013 16:08 CET

A long time before the holy month of Ramadan begins, Mrs Farahnaz Rafeh, spends time planning how to implement the Homaye Rahmat Plan.

Mrs Rafeh is the head of the Volunteers Organization of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRCS) and the Homaye Rahmat Plan involves hundreds of volunteers distributing food parcels to people in need.

"For ten years we have been implementing this plan with the purpose of helping orphans and the needy."

The assistance is also extended to the families of patients and prisoners, disabled people, the elderly, female-headed households, female breadwinners and other vulnerable families in earthquake-stricken regions, particularly in the 30 earthquake-hit villages of East Azerbaijan, South Khorasan and Boushehr.

Each food parcel – which includes rice, date, beans, vegetable oil, sugar and tea and is worth about 840,000 Iranian rial or 40 US dollars – is delivered to each four-person family in these areas. Mrs Rafeh explains that the food parcels have been put together based on the food habits and preferences of the various ethnic groups living in different areas of the country.

The first festival of ‘Shokouh Mehrabani’ is organized during the month to say thank you to all the donors who have supported the Red Crescent in implementing its campaign. Mrs Rafeh explains that this plan is implemented in Nowruz, or new year. In 2013, the financial aid received from the general public amounted to 410,000,000 Iranian rial (about 200,000 US dollars).

Mrs Rafeh also highlights the important work to establish specialized volunteer centres, known as volunteer houses, and national health caravans during the month of Ramadan. The caravans offer basic health care and are dispatched to deprived regions in order to treat vulnerable people free of charge. Last year alone, 6 million people benefited from the services provided by the IRCS Volunteers Organization.

Donations to fund this humanitarian work are always needed and donors are asked to make their donation to the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran, account number 1500000042, Bank Mellat. Mrs Rafeh also adds that the fundraising and charity collection boxes are available in all IRCS volunteer houses for people wishing to make other cash donations.