The Ambassadors of Germany and Norway to Tehran have said the two countries are ready to support Iran in improving services to refugees

TEHRAN – The ambassadors of Germany and Norway to Tehran have said the two countries are ready to support Iran in improving services to refugees.

The envoy made the remarks during a visit to a refugee resort in Torbat-e Jam in Khorasan Razavi province, IRIB reported on Wednesday.

In recent months, due to the conflicts in Afghanistan, Khorasan has witnessed a significant inflow of Afghan refugees, which has increased the statistical population of refugee camps and settlements, and this has caused problems in the field of services, Ali Ghasemi, the director for foreign nationals and immigrants department of Khorasan Razavi, said.

“We are trying to invite different countries to provide more services to the migrants living in the camps and to be a good host, and this will only be possible with the cooperation and support of other countries,” he said.

Germany’s Ambassador to Iran Hans-Udo Muzel said that as a friend of Iran, we consider it our duty to assist the Government in resolving the problems of the Afghan people and the refugees in Iran and to provide them with various services and facilities.

Sigvald Tomin Hauge, Norwegian Ambassador to Tehran, also appreciated the efforts of the Islamic Republic for providing and providing facilities and services to Afghan refugees, highlighting that we intend to help the government of Iran to solve the problems of these loved ones.

World’s fourth-largest refugee community

Iran is hosting the world’s fourth-largest refugee community. The country has generously hosted approximately 1 million refugees for the past 30 years. The majority, which mainly came from Afghanistan and Iraq, live in urban areas. Approximately 31,000 of the most vulnerable refugees are living in 20 settlements located throughout the country.

Based on the latest statistics, over 3 million Afghans are living in Iran – some 780,000 Afghan refugees, over 2 million undocumented Afghans, and another 600,000 Afghan passport-holders with Iranian visas.

The recent fast-paced turn of events in Afghanistan has the potential to create additional population movements; displacing families internally and potentially driving them to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

It is estimated that up to 300,000 Afghan asylum-seekers have fled to Iran this year alone in search of safety, while UNHCR has only been able to screen some 24,000 newly arrived Afghans for protection needs.

However, considering the pandemic, all refugees, even those undocumented, benefited from access to free primary health services and free COVID-related testing, treatment, and hospitalization, just like Iranian nationals.

The same happened for the vaccination when the country has generously considered refugees for vaccination against coronavirus.

In Iran, UNHCR is seeking $16.2 million for its COVID-19 emergency, while requires an additional $98.7 million to support Iran in maintaining and sustaining its commendable inclusive refugee policies, under the umbrella of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).

António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has praised Iran’s generosity which – for decades – has hosted millions of Afghans in need.

“At this moment, we need the global community to put their hands on the wheel of progress, provide resources, and prevent Afghanistan from spiralling any further.

I will never forget the generosity of countries like Pakistan and Iran, which – for decades – have hosted millions of Afghans in need,” Guterres said in a statement released on January 26 to the Security Council on Afghanistan.

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