Jun 20, 2020, 10:47 PM
Journalist ID: 2377
News Code: 83827914
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UNHCR hails Iran as generous host of Afghan refugees

New York, June 20, IRNA – The UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic of Iran has remained a generous host for Afghans refugees over the last four decades.

Talking to IRNA, he added that Some 1 million registered Afghan refugees are still living in the country. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, supports the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in sustaining inclusive and progressive policies towards refugees and facilitate solutions, including voluntary repatriation.

UNHCR also continues to advocate for international solidarity and support for Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said.

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, facing the epicenter of the outbreak in South-West Asia, has facilitated exemplary inclusion of Afghans on its territory, Baloch said.

Earlier, Baloch had said that UNHCR welcomes Iran’s recent confirmation that COVID-19 related tests and treatment are free of charge for all individuals, including for refugees. Additionally, the country’s Universal Public Health Insurance has been automatically extended for refugees as well as Iranian nationals--ensuring uninterrupted access to healthcare for all refugees.

He further noted that Pakistan and Iran, which host some 90 percent of the world’s 2.7 million Afghan refugees are experiencing immense strain on their health systems and economies. Lockdown measures and a sharp downturn in economic activity have left many Afghan refugees confronted with an inability to meet even their most basic needs.

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