Federal Foreign Office supports Afghan refugees in Iran

17.06.2011 - Press release

The Federal Foreign Office is making another one million euro available to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for his office’s programme supporting Afghan refugees in Iran.

Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today (17 June):

The plight of Afghan refugees in Iran and the conditions in which they are living remain critical. We are offering our assistance to try and help improve their difficult living conditions.
It is clear that these refugees will not see any lasting improvement to their terrible plight until Afghanistan becomes a stabilized part of its region. That is the objective of the international strategy on Afghanistan, which aims at a political solution and which we are working hard to see implemented.

There are still over a million refugees from Afghanistan registered in Iran. Many of them have been living there for over 30 years. According to the UNHCR, the refugee population in Iran is one of the largest in the world, and also one of the most longstanding. It is assumed that there are also a large number of unregistered refugees.

The funds supplied by the Federal Foreign Office will go to help provide the refugees with basic health care. This includes supplying equipment for health-care facilities as well as paying health-insurance contributions for particularly vulnerable groups.

This is the third successive year that the Federal Foreign Office has contributed this level of funding to the UNHCR programme in Iran.

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