Emergency Support to Safer Hospitals and Settlements (BEHTAB II)

One of the main goals of UN-Habitat is to assist the Government of I.R. of Iran in mitigating the seismic and disaster risks associated with the public and important buildings in the country and to further strengthen their capacity for pro-active measures in order to mitigate the damaging and devastating effects of future earthquakes on these properties and displays.
Iran is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, and is one of the arid regions of the world, which suffers frequent droughts, floods, and landslides. Within the nation’s high-risk context,
Frequent natural hazard affects a large asset of the country annually. Hospitals and health centres are among the important urban infrastructure whose functionality is a critical issue after natural disasters. However, these facilities suffer damage from natural hazards. This has been verified by the earthquakes of Manjil (1990), Bam (2003), and Kermanshah (2017) as well as the recent severe floods in the country since 2018 until now.
The vulnerability of such important public buildings may originate from a lack of appropriate design approach, low construction quality, traditional methods, and materials, or poor maintenance conditions. From this perspective, a new comprehensive approach is required for the natural risk management of these public assets. The approach must include all the steps of the creation of the facility from inception until the last day of the life cycle.
After the 2017 strong earthquake in Kermanshah Province, west of Iran, several hospitals and healthcare centers suffered severe damage. Based on the raised demand in the country, UN-Habitat submitted a proposal for the assessment and retrofit of existing health facilities to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. This ended with the approval of the project “Inventory, Earthquake and Multi-Hazard Performance Evaluation of existing Health Facilities in the Islamic Republic of Iran” referred to as BEHTAB-I.

The project “Emergency Support to Safer Hospitals and Settlements”, called “BEHTAB-II” is a project on the evaluation, design, and retrofitting implementation of hospitals and health facilities in I.R. Iran, which is implemented by UN-Habitat, Tehran Office in cooperation with EOPGBI and funded by the Government of Japan.

The project is a continuation of the first phase, “BEHTAB-I”, which was performed from 2018 to 2019 by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in I.R. Iran, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME), with the generous financial support from the Government of Japan.

Due to the positive feedback from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and also the financial support from the Government of Japan, the continuation of the project was approved in January 2021.

BEHTAB-II is composed of 3 main components as below:

  • Component 1: Multi-hazard Assessment, Vulnerability Analysis, and preparing the retrofit design for existing healthcare facilities
  • Component 2: Demonstrating non-structural retrofitting construction for selected vulnerable hospitals and healthcare centers as role models
  • Component 3: Capacity development of the Government of I.R. Iran and related stakeholders through training courses, holding conferences, development of guidelines and software