Jul 16, 2014, 5:47 PM
News Code: 2721540
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Iran hosts largest number of Afghan refugees

Tehran, July 16, IRNA -- Iran has been hosting the largest number of Afghan refugees since past 30 years, said the deputy representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Iran Fathia Abdalla.

Speaking in a meeting with Hossein Esmaeili, governor of Ardekan city in Yazd province, Abdalla expressed satisfaction over her presence in Iran.

Thursday edition of the English language newspaper Iran Daily quoted the UNHCR official as saying measures taken by Iran to provide Afghan refugees with proper welfare facilities are laudable, adding that the UNHCR office usually offers educational, hygienic and livelihood assistance to such migrants.

“We are informed that Iran has provided Afghan migrants with various educational and financial support,” she said.

The official said a large number of Afghan refugees, residing in Yazd province—especially the city of Ardekan, have been provided with proper welfare facilities.

Abdalla said 97 and 3 percent of the Afghan immigrants are residing in Iranian cities and camps respectively, which shows that the Iranians are very philanthropic.

Referring to problems created by Afghan migrants for Ardekan’s citizens, she called on Iranian officials to take legal action against illegal refugees.

Esmaeili noted that 50 hectares of lands have been allocated for building settlement camps for Afghan refugees in Ardekan.

“Significant efforts have been made by local officials to preserve the health and safety of Afghan refugees residing in the city,” he said.

In February, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres praised the support and security extended to Afghan and Iraqi refugees in Iran.

“Visiting Iran is a great honor for me and I hereby appreciate the philanthropy and hospitality of the generous Iranian nation for their 30-year hosting of Afghan and Iraqi refugees,” he said.

Guterres said that according to statistics, 320,000 Afghan children are studying in Iran, which is praiseworthy.

“Most of the Afghan refugees are willing to return to their country, but they are faced with problems that need to be resolved by the Afghan government,” he said.