of the Refugee Situation
Iran has been hosting one the most protracted refugee case loads in the world for over three decades. Although this may no longer be the largest caseload in the world due to events in Syria and beyond however it remains a very important and integral part of the problem as well as any hope for the future stability of the region and beyond
UNHCR is the leading partner of BAFIA (Bureau for Alien and Immigrant Affairs) of the Ministry of Interior in providing services to the refugee population. Other UN agencies such as WFP and UNICEF also provide some support
There is a small but dedicated group of international and local NGOs active in the refugee field that implement projects in sectors such as education, livelihoods, health etc
Considering the sheer numbers of potential beneficiaries you can see that there remains a great deal that needs to be done and that additional implementation power and financial resources are needed in order to address the array of unmet needs
Based on Amayesh IX statistics received from the Government of Iran in May 2015 there are 951,142 persons of concern to UNHCR.Approximately 3% of this population reside in camps and the rest are living in urban areas. The government estimates that anywhere between 2-3 million undocumented Afghans are also disbursed throughout Iran. In addition 620,000 Afghan Passport holders who were previously undocumented have been issued Iranian visas that allow them to reside in the country legally
More than 360,000 refugee children are receiving primary and secondary education and a decree by the Supreme Leader has resulted in 48,000 undocumented Afghans being registered in school. Many children still however cannot afford an education
Universal Public Health Insurance is now being made available to the refugees through a tripartite agreement signed by UNHCR, BAFIA and IHIO in close cooperation with the Ministry of health.Finacial challenges still affect health security and there are many who still have no coverage or support.
Economic conditions and the possibility of having a sustainable livelihood is still the crux of the issues affecting this population and this affects all the decisions regarding education, health and even decisions of return or secondary migration.Some progress has been made in the areas of livelihoods and vocational training with the help of the UN agencies and the INGO and NGO family that is operational in this sector
The situation inside Afghanistan regarding security as well as other key sectors such as education and employment have led to a decrease in the number of persons undertaking the decision to voluntarily return. Some have in fact have taken the decision the use Iran as a transit point in their journey towards Europe. A journey that has been filled with risks and hardships.
Following the fall of Saddam most of the Iraqi refugees repatriated to Iran. At the present time 28,268 Iraqi persons of concern remain in Iran. This number is less than 10% of what it was at the height of the Iraqi influx.
The needs and challenges of this group are the same as the Afghan population just on a smaller scale