Helping traumatised and disabled earthquake survivors
As work moves from emergency relief to reconstruction, an international ActionAid team leaves today for Iran to assess the need for trauma counselling and help for disabled people. This follows consultations with the Iranian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.
ActionAid has acknowledged expertise in psychosocial needs and physical disability from its work in India. The aim is to organise training of local Iranian organisations and support counselling and rehabilitation programmes over an initial 18-month period.
The team of three includes Dr PV Unnikrishnan from India, Khurshid Alam from Bangladesh, and Roger Yates, ActionAid's UK-based Head of Emergencies.
Roger Yates said: "One of the latest UN updates on the Bam earthquake particularly asked for a focus on the psychosocial aspects. ActionAid is able to provide this. We have long experience of disability work in India and of trauma counselling following the Orissa super cyclone and Gujarat earthquake."