Aug 18, 2019, 3:19 PM
Journalist ID: 1842
News Code: 83442122
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UN: Korea, UNIDO for sustainable settlements for Afghan refugees in Iran

Tehran, Aug 18, IRNA – With a three-year, US$1.5 million contribution from the Republic of Korea, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will develop sustainable settlements for 18,000 of the most vulnerable Afghan refugees living in five of the most populated settlements in Iran.

“I am humbled to be able to make this contribution to this most meaningful project, which will be completed by 2022”, said Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Iran Ryu Jeong-Hyun, according to the press release of the UN Information Center, Tehran.

“I hope that the betterment of their living standards and close cooperation with the business sector will create income opportunities for a large number of Afghan refugees in Iran. I would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the Korean Government’s complete commitment to providing humanitarian assistance in the future as well”.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Iran Ryu Jeong-Hyun made the remarks on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of a US$1.5 million three-year contribution from the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO) to support 18,000 of the most vulnerable Afghan refugees living in five most populated settlements in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Korea has developed from the ashes of the Korean War (1950-1953), so we needed assistance from the international community. We never forget the donations made to Korea and now we are returning the favor to the international community through our contributions. Maybe that’s why my government decided to make contributions to UNIDO,” he explained.

The Korean ambassador to Tehran went on to say that “as I mentioned before the issue of refugees is not just a problem for one country. The Iranian government has successfully addressed the problem of refugees together with international organizations. To my knowledge, the so-called SSAR [Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees to Support Voluntary Repatriation, Sustainable Reintegration, and Assistance to Host Countries] have successfully tackled refugees’ issues.”

“I was born in the late 1960s and at the time Korea was developing from the ruins of the Korean War. In the process, we received very precious international assistance from many countries and then we successfully became a developed country.

“Maybe during that time the Korean Government and Korean people fully understood how important and valuable that assistance was and maybe that’s the reason why my government tries its best to share its knowledge together with the country and people who need the help. 

“The Korean government has contributed a total of US$24.5 billion for humanitarian assistance for 134 million people in 40 countries. This is not a big number but my government will try its best to expand our contribution to the countries and people who need our assistance. My Government’s approach is to empower Afghan Refugees through sustainable job skills, vocational training and betterment of their livelihood in addition to proving their basic needs.

As the ambassador of the Korean embassy in Tehran, I reiterate my commitment again that we will try our best to support the people who need our assistance.” 

The project will support a stable, environmentally-friendly and inclusive energy supply in the target sites through a multi-focal approach that combines integrated energy generation, waste management, capacity building and technical assistance for Afghan Refugees.

“We are very grateful to the Government and to the people of Korea for their generosity as their contribution will dramatically change the living conditions and the outlook on the future of the most vulnerable Afghan refugees in Iran”, said the UNIDO Managing Director Phillippe Scholtes. “UNIDO will also ensure that these interventions will include vulnerable host communities as well”.

Special attention will be given to youth and women refugees, in order to strengthen their capacities and access to job opportunities through vocational training and appropriate action plans: access to self-employment opportunities will be promoted and facilitated, particularly focusing on the capacity building of female refugees, including the provision of small grants for refugees to establish and expand home-based and small businesses.

UNIDO has been a partner to the Government of Iran in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development since 1965; UNIDO has implemented technical assistance projects in numerous conflict-affected countries and situations, targeting refugees, Internally Displaced Persons as well as their host communities in various parts of the world including Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

Iran hosts the world’s fourth-largest refugee population, with nearly 980,000 registered Afghan and Iraqi refugees. The ultimate goal of the project is to support ongoing efforts within the country to cope with urgent needs and gaps and to provide more livable and sustainable solutions for refugees while contributing to tackling environmental degradation and climate change.

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