UNHCR stepping up support to Iran's flood affected communities
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is working with the Iranian government to assist ongoing efforts to support people affected by the recent unprecedented floods in the country.
A plane carrying UNHCR aid items from the agency’s global stockpiles in Dubai landed last week in Tehran, while supplies from existing in-country stocks were handed over to authorities, fighting unseen flood levels.
Since March 19, heavy rains and flooding in the Islamic Republic of Iran have swept 24 of its 31 provinces, affecting some 10 million people including a million refugees and foreign nationals. Some 78 people have lost their lives and over 1,000 are reported injured. The floods have left over two million people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including refugees. According to government estimates some 500,000 people have been displaced.
“UNHCR’s efforts are in solidarity with Iran and its people who have hosted millions of refugees for four decades,” said Indrika Ratwatte, UNHCR’s Director for Asia and the Pacific. “Iran badly needs international support as it faces one of the worst natural disasters in decades.”
UNHCR’s assistance has included family tents, sleeping mats, blankets and kitchen sets.
Currently are there more than 100,000 people in emergency temporary shelters and thousands of houses have been partially damaged or totally destroyed.
Six provinces in western Iran, including Ilam, Kermanshah, Lorestan, Khuzestan, Kohkilouyeh and Boyer-Ahmad and Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari remain in a state of emergency. Thousands of refugees who live alongside their hosts in these areas are also feared impacted.
With the possibility of further heavy rainfall, UNHCR continues to work alongside its government counterparts to support assistance efforts, particularly in refugee populated locations.
UNHCR is coordinating its efforts through Iran’s Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA) under the Ministry of Interior.
Iran currently hosts one million registered refugees.