The Government of Germany has significantly increased its support for Afghan refugees in 2021, from an initial EUR 3.2 million earlier this year, to EUR 57 million as of November, to support the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) response in the Islamic Republics of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The total German contribution to emergency support for Afghanistan is amounting to EUR 600 million.
“Germany has always played a big part in supporting humanitarian efforts in Iran, but even more so now. During these times of increased humanitarian needs, Germany’s generous funding will strengthen UNHCR’s response to protect vulnerable refugees,” said Ivo Freijsen, UNHCR’s Representative in Iran.
“Millions of Afghans have fled their country over the past few decades, and Iran as a neighboring country has been generous to host many of them. The Taliban’s takeover of power has exacerbated the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and beyond. With the onset of winter, even more Afghans face hunger and hardship. This is why Germany has decided to provide an additional EUR 600 million for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries. As a trusted long-time partner, UNHCR will receive German funding in order to provide crucial support to the benefit of Afghan refugees.”
Over the years, Germany has contributed on average almost EUR 6 million per year to UNHCR in the region, and has now significantly stepped up its support in response to the deteriorated situation in Afghanistan. This exemplifies a spirit of responsibility-sharing, international cooperation and solidarity in supporting Afghan refugees.
This contribution will allow UNHCR, in coordination with Iran’s Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA), to continue to support Afghan refugees and host communities in Iran through health, education and livelihoods opportunities.
This donation will also help newly arrived Afghans who are fleeing their country. So far, in 2021 alone, UNHCR is directly aware of over 20,000 Afghans who arrived in Iran using irregular routes to seek safety in Iran, although the total number that have entered the country is likely to be significantly higher. UNHCR will thus channel funds towards pre-positioning Core Relief Items, hygiene kits, and tents at the eastern borders, to ensure newly-displaced persons receive the urgent assistance they need.
As of 2020, Germany has been a member of the Core Group of the Support Platform of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), along with 12 other states and entities that have pledged reinforced support for the Afghan refugee situation. UNHCR is grateful that Germany is setting a positive example of commitment to support this humanitarian situation.
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