IRCS’s Lack of Funds Worrisome

Over the past 2.5 years, only $26.3 million have been given to IRCS, whereas lawmakers had approved a $289 million budget for the current year alone.Over the past 2.5 years, only $26.3 million have been given to IRCS, whereas lawmakers had approved a $289 million budget for the current year alone.

The head of Iran’s Red Crescent Society has voiced concern about the organization’s severe lack of funds, arguing that it will not be able to continue its services without an adequate budget.

Speaking to IRNA on Tuesday, Amir Mohsen Ziaei said that he has warned the authorities multiple times but failed to convince them about IRCS’s dire situation.

“Over the past 2.5 years, only one trillion rials ($26.3 million) have been given to us, whereas lawmakers had approved an 11-trillion-rial ($289 million) budget for this year (started March 21) alone,” he said.

He added that the organization is facing serious challenges to meet its expenses and has so far withdrawn more than $26 million from its emergency funds.

As a self-imposed rule, the organization saves about 5% of its annual budget for its emergency funds.

“With the emergency funds running low, the IRCS will not be able to provide services to the best of its abilities in case of an average or large-scale disaster,” he warned

“Not a single penny has been given to the IRCS since the beginning of the current fiscal year while 180 billion rials ($4.7 million) have been spent for crisis management so far this year and 800 billion rials ($21 million) were spent on air relief operations last year,” Ziaei said, adding that he has written to First Vice President, Es’haq Jahangiri about the matter.

At present, no relevant organization is sufficiently prepared for average and large-scale incidents and the casualties of a moderate earthquake in a metropolis like Tehran has been calculated at around 250,000 people within the first hours.

“This is a warning to the authorities to take crisis management seriously,” he said.

He stressed, however, that the lack of funds has not hindered the society’s operations, due in no small part to the hard work of volunteers that provide services to the public across the country for no payment.

Ziaei also pointed out that the IRCS is looking to create its own sources of revenue to meet its expenses independently.

IRCS subsidiaries that conduct commercial activities, such as the IRCS’s Investment Company, have the potential to generate money for the society.

“It has the capacity to provide half of the IRCS’s necessary budget,” he said.


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