His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales made a surprise visit to the earthquake-torn city of Bam in Iran on the 9th of February.
Prince Charles saw at first hand the devastation caused by the earthquake which killed around 42,000 people and left more than 30,000 injured. The Prince is the first British royal to visit Iran in almost 30 years.
Accompanied by Richard Dalton, the British Ambassador to Iran , the Prince toured the city meeting survivors of the earthquake and aid workers, including Islamic Relief (IR) staff.
Shafeeq ur Rehman, Asif Sherazi and Muhammad Qasim, members of Islamic Relief's team in Bam, spoke to the Prince about IR's humanitarian relief work.
Prince Charles was impressed with the achievements of the team, and said that Islamic Relief had set a great example. He was particularly interested to know how much money had been raised and what IR was hoping to do in Bam in the short and long term.
The Prince also recalled his visit to Islamic Relief's offices in London during the Afghanistan refugee crisis, three years ago. On hearing that IR had raised almost £1 million for the disaster victims so far, Prince Charles expressed his gratitude for all of IR's efforts.
IR in Iran
Islamic Relief's Emergency Response Team in Bam has distributed over $200,000 worth of relief goods. Working closely with the Esfahan provincial government and partner organisations, IR has set up Razmandagan camp to house 300 homeless families.
Razmandagan camp also provides shelter for some of the estimated 2000 Afghan refugees who survived the earthquake. Islamic Relief is focusing on the needs of this vulnerable minority community, many of whom lost their refugee ID cards in the quake. Without identification it is difficult for them to access food, water and general aid.
The latest food distribution came as part of Islamic Relief's annual Qurbani programme. Staff in Iran distributed Qurbani meat to around 4100 people in both the Razmandagan and Green camps, including Afghan families.