IRGC forms center to aid 3.5m families affected by coronavirus

April 14, 2020 - 19:6

TEHRAN — The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has formed a headquarters to direct aid efforts to 3.5 million Iranian families most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The formation of the headquarters, called the Imam Hassan headquarters, came days after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for helping the needy ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

In a Tuesday meeting, IRGC Chief Major General Hossein Salami convened the heads of a number of governmental bodies to discuss a nationwide scheme to help Iranian families in need, according to Tasnim.

Salami proposed the idea of forming a charity foundation to coordinate plans for aid programs.

The participants – including Head of Mostazafan Foundation Parviz Fattah, Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani, Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation Director Mohammad Mokhber and Basij Chief Gholamreza Soleimani – agreed to participate in the formation of the Imam Hassan Headquarters.

During the meeting, General Salami said while the entire world is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the Iranian nation is faced with other viruses at the same time, such as the U.S. sanctions, hostile psychological operations, and even the enemy’s threat of military action.

He also lauded the governmental bodies for taking part in the Imam Hassan Headquarters, saying around 3.5 million families will benefit from the relief efforts.

It was announced on Sunday that top commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have donated 20 percent of their monthly salary to coronavirus relief efforts.

IRGC spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the commanders have taken part in a countrywide exercise launched by Basij, called “Devout Help”, following the Leader’s call to help the needy.

According to Sharif, the donation will be granted to people who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The government announced last week that it will allocate 50,000 billion rials ($305 million) to Unemployment Insurance Fund to support those who have lost their jobs amid the outbreak of coronavirus.

“To prevent the spread of the virus, applicants are urged to fill out online forms for unemployment benefits at the newly-designed website 'bimebikari.mcls.gov.ir' within 30 days, rather than going personally to the ministry’s bureaus,” the government stated.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also agreed with a request by the government to withdraw 1 billion euro from the National Development Fund to contain the highly transmissible coronavirus, the government announced on April 6.

President Hassan Rouhani thanked the Leader for his consent and ordered the money to be spent mostly on purchasing the equipment and goods needed by the Health Ministry from local producers, especially those run by knowledge-based companies.

The president also said the details of the necessary aid to the Unemployment Insurance Fund will be discussed in a session of the government's economic headquarters in future weeks.

The coronavirus, also called COVID-19, initially emerged in China late last year and soon spread across the world.

As of Tuesday, the total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran reached 74,877, of whom 4,683 have died and 48,129 recovered.

MH/PA

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