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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)
    $97,000,000
    Total appeal
    Date of Funding Data 6 April 2021 (1 month ago)
      Highlights
    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
    UNHCR welcomes the generous contribution of USD 1,250,000 from the Government of Japan, which will be crucial in enabling UNHCR to enhance its support of refugees over the course of 2021. In addition to supporting access to primary healthcare and education, this funding will go towards the implementation of livelihoods activities, such as the provision of technical and vocational training and support to small businesses and workshops for refugees in Iran. In turn, refugees can then positively contribute to the Iranian host community during their stay, and further utilize their new skills in their country of origin, once conditions become conductive for their safe and dignified voluntary return. Japan is one of the biggest donors to UNHCR in support of Afghan refugees.
    24 Mar 2021
    Roya, 20, an Afghan refugee, works in a tailoring workshop in Sarvestan refugee settlement, in Iran’s southern Fars province, along with around 50 other refugee women. The workshop was established by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and later expanded by the World Food Programme (WFP). It switched its production line at the start of the pandemic to make hygiene masks, in an example of refugees’ direct involvement in the fight against COVID-19, but also of their effort to safeguard their monthly income. Since February 2020, when the first COVID-19 cases were officially recorded in Iran, Roya and her fellow refugee tailors have produced more than 10,000 masks per day, which are delivered to health and humanitarian service providers across the country.
    14 Jan 2021
    UNHCR has stepped up its cash assistance to support thousands of extremely vulnerable refugees whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Iran. Iran’s economy has already been under substantial strain during the past two years, but COVID-19 has very severely worsened economic conditions. UNHCR has supported more than 20,000 refugees since the beginning of the pandemic. Some 9,000 among those have recently benefitted from a cash assistance scheme through pre-paid cards. These refugees are suffering from serious health conditions and are in need of urgent support. Each household receives some US$300 (a one-off payment) – enough to cover up to three months of basic expenditures.
    13 Oct 2020
    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

      Instagram UNHCR Iran