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Iran This map shows the geographic distribution of refugees in Iran. The map uses the proportions from the 2015 Amayesh registration applied to data from 2020

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

Afghan Voluntary Repatriation (UNHCR assisted return) in 2021 JSON 
253
Last updated 28 Feb 2021
Source - UNHCR 

Loading Number of Voluntary Repratriation per month

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  • Overview of Iran operation
    According to the latest data received from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in October 2020, on which consultations are ongoing, 800,000 refugees currently reside in Iran, out of which some 780,000 are indicated to be Afghans - one of the largest and most protracted refugee populations under UNHCR's mandate. In addition, 2.1-2.25 million undocumented Afghans and 600,000 Afghan passport holders also live in Iran, along with some 20,000 Iraqi refugees. 96% of refugees live in urban areas alongside the host community, while 4% live in refugee settlements.

    Within the framework of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), UNHCR supports the Government of Iran in implementing inclusive refugee policies – in Iran, refugees can go to school and follow the national curriculum, get free primary health care and access livelihoods opportunities. However, Iran is going through a challenging economic period as a result of the evolving international and regional relations. This situation is posing substantial strain of the ability of the Government to maintain their inclusive policies, while at the same time the needs and vulnerabilities of refugees are increasing.

    UNHCR facilitates voluntary repatriation for Afghan refugees who wish to return to their home country, once it is established that their return is voluntary, safe, dignified and durable. Since 2002, UNHCR Iran has supported nearly 1 million refugees to return to Afghanistan. Resettlement is one of the durable solutions to the plight of refugees and an essential element of international protection. However, the resettlement quota for refugees in Iran is at an all-time low.




    Refugees in Iran JSON 
    800,000
    Last updated 01 Oct 2020
    Source - Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran (GIRI) 
    Iran demograpic breakdown
    Funding UNHCR Iran (2021)
    $102,000,000
    Total appeal
    Date of Funding Data 2 July 2021 (26 days ago)
      Highlights
    UNHCR welcomes the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s recent move to formalize access to banking services – including debit cards, for Afghan refugees in the country. Now, all refugees will have a more secure means of managing their finances. Banking services will also facilitate emergency cash assistance to refugees in Iran. Since the start of COVID-19, UNHCR has helped vulnerable refugees cope with the economic impact of the pandemic by providing them with cash assistance via electronic vouchers. Financial inclusion can contribute to refugees’ resilience, empowering them to meet their needs in a safe, sustainable and dignified manner, and helping them avoid negative coping mechanisms.
    08 Jun 2021
    As COVID-19 lingers in Iran, UNHCR is grateful for the timely donation of 1,000,000 face masks by the Republic of Korea, which will help protect health personnel and patients at hospitals and health facilities in refugee-hosting areas. The Republic of Korea is one of the biggest donors to UNHCR in support of Afghan refugees. From 2018 to 2020, the Republic of Korea generously donated 6 million USD to UNHCR towards “Protection and Humanitarian Assistance for Afghan Refugees in Iran”. UNHCR is grateful to the Republic of Korea for tangibly showing increased international responsibility- and burden-sharing, by supporting Iran which has hosted Afghan refugees for over 40.
    10 Jun 2021
    On 30 June, UNHCR Iran in coordination with BAFIA held a virtual event to commemorate World Refugee Day 2021. Despite some coordination challenges with our counterparts, the event was well attended by some 130 participants including UN and I/NGO partners, diplomatic missions, governmental partners (e.g. MOH and MOE) and a number of refugees. In their remarks, representatives from UNHCR, BAFIA, government miniseries and INGO/NGOs reiterated their support for refugees in Iran, while acknowledging the ongoing and upcoming challenges both in Iran and Afghanistan.
    30 Jun 2021
    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect refugees and host communities in the Islamic Republic of Iran, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is ensuring that another 20,000 refugees can access national health insurance, taking the numbers assisted with health insurance to 120,000. UNHCR covered the costs of insurance for some 100,000 vulnerable refugees last year. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevailing economic downturn in Iran increasing vulnerabilities amongst refugees, UNHCR has agreed to temporarily increase the number of refugees covered by the scheme. UNHCR is concerned that fewer and fewer refugees will be able to afford the cost of health insurance in 2021 and beyond, increasing the likelihood that they will not seek treatment for their urgent health needs or that they will resort to borrowing money or sending their children to work, just to be able to afford health care.
    06 Apr 2021
    Contact Information

    Please contact the following focal points

    Type of Inquiry Contact
    Communications and External Relations Farha Bhoyroo
    bhoyroo@unhcr.org
    Donor Relations Alexandra Stenbock-Fermor
    stenbock@unhcr.org

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