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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 
876
Last updated 31 Dec 2021
Source - UNHCR 
Out of the total number of repatriated refugees the majority are Afghans. See breakdown of nationalities below

Loading Number of Voluntary Repratriation per month

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    Create date: 2 December 2017 (4 years ago)
  • 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 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) 
    Reported newly arrived Afghans in need of international protection (since 1 January 2021) JSON 
    41,960
    Last updated 21 May 2022
    Source - UNHCR 
    Iran demograpic breakdown
    Funding UNHCR Iran (2022)
    119.4000,00 US$
    Total appeal
    Date of Funding Data 8 February 2022 (3 months ago)
      Highlights
    On 11 January 2022, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations launched joint response plans aiming to deliver vital humanitarian relief to 22 million people in Afghanistan and support 5.7 million displaced Afghans and local communities in five neighbouring countries. The humanitarian and refugee response plans combined require over US$5 billion in international funding in 2022.
    11 Jan 2022
    On 22 December 2021, UNHCR welcomed the United Kingdom’s donation of GBP 2 million (equivalent to some USD 2.7 million) to help us stay prepared to protect and assist Afghans fleeing to Iran seeking safety. This contribution makes the UK the third largest donor to UNHCR’s operation in Iran this year. The United Kingdom’s contribution will go towards procuring basic food items and tents, blankets, and jerrycans, to be distributed to new arrivals, allowing them to meet their basic needs in dignity. This contribution demonstrates the United Kingdom’s efforts to fulfill the spirit of responsibility-sharing, international cooperation, and solidarity outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and spearheaded by the Core Group for the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), of which the UK is a prominent member.
    22 Dec 2021
    UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, visited Iran from 21-23 December 2021. During his visit, the High Commissioner urged the international community to scale up its support to the Government and people of Iran, who are receiving Afghans fleeing a deteriorating situation in their country. According to preliminary estimates by the Government of Iran, up to 500,000 Afghans have arrived in Iran in 2021. The High Commissioner met with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Amirabdolahian, the Minister of Interior, Mr. Vahidi, and the Minister of Health, Dr. Einollahi, to discuss ways forward to manage and assist newly arriving Afghans, including through registration and documentation. He also called on the government to recognize the protection needs and risks faced on return to Afghanistan. Grandi traveled to Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province, where he met with Afghan families, including infants and elderly people, who fled to Iran from Nimrooz some four months ago.
    21 Dec 2021
    On 15 December 2021, UNHCR and UNICEF, welcomed the contribution of USD 2.5 million by the Republic of Korea in support of programs to help Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran. UNHCR and UNICEF will work together to maximize the impact of this funding, which will go towards enhancing joint preparedness measures to enable us to cope with the large number of Afghan asylum-seekers fleeing to Iran. This will include activities to improve access to clean water, construction and maintenance of latrines, showers and laundry facilities for some 7,000 people in two new refugee hosting sites that are being constructed by UN agencies and partners in border areas.
    15 Dec 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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