Jan 8, 2014, 11:40 AM
News Code: 80985424
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France extends humanitarian aid to refugees living in Iran

Tehran, Jan 8, IRNA - France supports the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees in Iran, providing refugees with continued access to health, education and livelihood opportunities.

According to a news release issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHR), the continuous support of the French people to Afghan refugees in Iran once more expressed through donation of over $388,000.

This donation will go towards the Solution Strategy for Afghan refugees, a regional, multi-year strategy agreed upon by the governments of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, supporting voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration & assistance to host countries.

French Ambassador in Iran, Bruno Foucher said, “The French contribution to UNHCR programs in Iran reflects our belief that the international community must remain committed to help the Government of Iran in hosting one of the largest refugee populations in the world.

France supports all actors dedicated to welcoming Afghan refugees in the best possible conditions, and therefore supports Iran who successfully provided humanitarian assistance to refugees for decades”.

Ambassador Foucher added, “We also recognize UN agencies, especially UNHCR, as being essential operators of this action. Their efficiency and expertise is crucial to address this complex issue together with the Iranian authorities. Eventually, France is pleased to support Afghan refugees through health, education and livelihood programs as we identify these fields as essential for every refugee”.

The contribution will provide refugees access to life-saving medical assistance-mainly the Health Insurance Scheme (HISE) and UNHCR’s Assistance and Outreach Network Program-which is of crucial importance for vulnerable refugees at a time of very difficult economic conditions.

The donation also provides improved access to education which will result in the empowerment of refugees. The donation will also support vocational training courses which will also lead to employment opportunities in Afghanistan.

Bernard Doyle, UNHCR-Iran Representative thanked the French Government

for their continuous humanitarian commitment and said, “We feel privileged to have received this donation alongside the huge existing needs worldwide. This donation helps UNHCR tailor programs which help reduce the current burden on the host population & equips refugees with the necessary tools, resulting in better life conditions.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran is host to the second largest refugee population in the world, hosting over 882,000 registered refugees, out of which more than 840,000 are Afghan.