In a televised speech on Thursday, on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the 12th Shia Imam, Imam Mahdi [May God Hasten His Reappearance], the Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for Iranians to execute a maneuver titled as 'Equality and Sincere Assistance' as of Saturday, in a bid to show sympathy and provide sincere assistance to the needy and the poor in society.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution spoke of the coronavirus outbreak, naming it "a strange test for all governments and nations".
"In order to show our love for the Imam of the Age (‘a.j.), we should create an image and reflection of the society of Imam Mahdi, which is a society of justice, dignity, science, brotherhood, and cooperation," the Leader noted in his speech.
“People who are well off financially should start large-scale activities to help the needy, especially on the eve of the auspicious month of Ramadan, which is the month of giving alms and helping others," he added, referring to the coronavirus outbreak in the country and how it has made life difficult for some classes of society.
Basiji, Jihadi, and other volunteer forces besides Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation and IRGC had started aiding needy people since the beginning of the coronavirus breakout, but the Leader's command made them re-united for carrying out the maneuver all across the country, as of Saturday.
The maneuver, which is scheduled to be performed by the end of the lethal virus outbreak in Iran, seeks to receive cash aid from Iranian charities and philanthropists and deliver them to those low-income earners of the society.
Head of Iran's Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation Morteza Bakhtiari said on Friday that "By cooperation of the Iranian nation as well as volunteer Jihadi groups and organizations, we will be at the service of deprived and needy people of the society."
Basij Commander Brigadier General Gholamreza Soleimani, also on Friday, announced body's the readiness to join the maneuver. "Coronavirus outbreak has impacted our country in various aspects, of which is its negative influence on the lives and economic conditions of low-income earners."
"Under the command of the Leader, Basij will do the maneuver in its 54,000 bases all across Iran," he said.
According to him, the first phase of the maneuver kicks off on Saturday, April 11 and will continue by the end of Ramadan, May 24. The next phases will follow up, afterward.
As Brigadier General Soleiman added, the maneuver will also take advantage of the help of Friday Prayer leaders in various cities across the country.
He noted that the gathered aid in each province and region, in cash or in the form of basic goods, will be allocated and distributed among the regional needy people.
As reported, each province has its own way of doing the maneuver.
In North Khorasan province, for example, the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation has announced specific bank accounts for gathering cash aid from the philanthropists.
In Qazvin province, one thousand livelihood assistance packages, comprised of basic goods, have been prepared to be distributed among those who are in real need.
Iran on its feet against coronavirus
Prior to his announcement of the said maneuver, Ayatollah Khamenei, on April 6, issued a permit allowing withdrawal from the National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI).
The permit allowed the Rouhani administration to pull out one billion euros from the NDFI, this time, to combat the lethal coronavirus in the country and to meet the needs of the Health Ministry and supply medical equipment needs from domestic sources and knowledge-based companies.
As a matter of fact, to overcome the outbreak, a strong unity between Iranian officials and the nation besides proper management of financial resources is required.