Joint Press Release of the German Embassy Tehran and the UNHCR Representation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Germany and UNHCR collaborate to strengthen support for Afghan refugees in Iran. Germany will strengthen support for Iran’s policies for Afghan Refugees by contributing 5 Million Euros in the next two years to the UNHCR Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR). The SSAR is a quadripartite multi-year regional strategy between the governments of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republics of Pakistan and Iran together with UNHCR. In Iran, the strategy seeks to support voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries, with a focus on investing in refugee education and health and empowering youth.
The German Ambassador Michael Klor-Berchtold said: “By increasing our support to the UNHCR Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees, Germany is stepping up its cooperation on displacement and migration with international organizations. We want to learn together from the challenges of recent years, especially in Iran that hosts a large number of Afghan refugees. Germany is one of the top donors to the UNHCR Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees and regards its support as an act of sustainable commitment to a global challenge but also as an act of solidarity with Iran.”
The German Federal Foreign Office also supports the UN World Food Program and cooperates with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). In 2017 Germany doubled its support for Afghan Refugees to 11 Million Euros.
UNHCR Representative in Iran, Sivanka Dhanapala, stated: “At a time when many longstanding refugee situations are overshadowed by competing emergencies and humanitarian crises around the world, support for Afghan refugees in Iran from donor countries is very important. Through its ongoing support to UNHCR in Iran, the Government and People of Germany are helping to enhance access of refugees to basic services including education, livelihoods opportunities and skills training, primary healthcare as well as health insurance”.
While Europe is still trying to cope with recent waves of displacement and migration, the Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted and supported one of the largest urban refugee situations in the world for nearly four decades. An estimated 951,000 registered Afghan refugees, 28,000 Iraqi refugees and some 1.5 – 2 million undocumented Afghans are currently living in Iran, many of whom are second or third generation refugees that have never been to Afghanistan.
UNHCR has maintained an uninterrupted presence in the country for 32 years, and works in close coordination with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as National and International NGOs to provide protection and assistance to Afghan and Iraqi refugees throughout the country.2019