UN Lacks Funds for Afghan Refugees in Iran

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says it needs USD18 million to fund its operation in Iran, where more than a million Afghans have fled their homeland.

The U.N. will require USD36.8 million to address the needs of the refugees, but it has only received one fifth of that amount, U.N. News Center reports.

The repatriation rate of Afghans from Iran has been slowed down by poor security and economic barriers, the agency notes. The vast majority of the Afghans staying in Iran dwell in urban and semi-urban areas, straining local health resources and infrastructure.

Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesperson, says that the agency has expanded its reach in Iran to facilitate repatriation, but increased funding is crucial for this effort.

“At present we have funds to implement only 22 percent of identified needs across education, health, and livelihood support, as well as boosting water systems, latrines and other infrastructure in refugee settlements and in urban settings with high refugee concentrations,” he said. 

About the author

  • Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.