Tehran (IP)- UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in the Islamic Republic of Iran, marked World Refugee Day with a series of events celebrating refugees’ resilience and courage and the country’s commendable inclusive policies towards refugees. The occasion served as a reminder of the need for more global burden-sharing and solidarity in addressing the challenges faced by displaced persons around the world.

Iran PressIran News: With over 3.4 million refugees and refugee-like populations, Iran has become the second-largest refugee-hosting country globally this year. In total, Iran hosts some 4.5 million Afghans of varying status – including resident permit holders, undocumented Afghans, and family passport holders – many of whom have been in the country for an extended period and require support to strengthen their resilience. 

Iran’s support for refugees is demonstrated through its inclusive policies, which encompass protection, assistance, education, and healthcare, inspiring the global community and positively impacting the lives of refugees. 

Throughout Iran, a range of events were organized to commemorate this year’s World Refugee Day, under the theme “Hope Away from Home.” These events emphasized the importance of solutions, inclusion, and compassion towards those forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, or natural disasters. 

In Kerman, Fars, and Khorasan Razavi provinces, and in Semnan refugee settlement, UNHCR, together with the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA) of Iran’s Ministry of Interior, organized colorful refugee-focused events. These events showcased the rich diversity and talent of refugee communities, featuring traditional music and theatre performances, refugee craft bazaars, and drawing competitions. 

UNHCR Representative a.i. , Ms. Inna Gladkova, in her Refugee Day message, paid tribute to the courage and remarkable resilience of refugees and commended Iran for its inclusive refugee policies, particularly in the sectors of education and health. Ms. Gladkova stated, “The scale of the global refugee crisis requires greater solidarity and burden sharing. Iran’s exemplary efforts cannot be sustained without continued international support.” 

She further called on the international community to increase their support for Iran’s humanitarian efforts, recognizing that no single country can bear the responsibility of hosting refugees alone. She emphasized that more financial support, technical assistance, and innovative partnerships are essential to ensure the protection, well-being, and successful integration of refugees worldwide. 

Despite its own domestic challenges, Iran has extended support to refugee children, allowing them to access education in public schools alongside Iranian children. Iran’s healthcare system promotes refugee integration by providing them with vital healthcare services, including access to insurance, and vaccinations, enhancing refugee well-being, and benefiting public health in host communities. 

On World Refugee Day, UNHCR extends gratitude to Iran for its hospitality and ongoing efforts in protecting and empowering refugees. Iran’s example showcases the transformative power of inclusive policies, enabling refugees to thrive as valued members of society. 

Note for editors: Refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran 

On 14 June, UNHCR released its flagship annual report, Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022. The report found that by the end of 2022, the number of people displaced by war, persecution, violence, and human rights abuses stood at a record 108.4 million, up 19.1 million on a year earlier, which was the biggest ever increase. 

Estimates for the number of refugees from Afghanistan were sharply higher by the end of 2022 due to revised estimates of Afghans hosted in Iran, many having arrived in previous years. The Islamic Republic of Iran, with over 3.4 million refugees and refugee-like populations became the second-largest refugee-hosting country in the world.

Of these refugees, 99 percent reside in urban areas, side-by-side with Iranian host communities. The remaining one percent live in 20 government-run refugee settlements. In total, Iran hosts 4.5 million Afghans of varying status which include: 762,000 refugees, 2.6M refugees-like population, 500,000 undocumented Afghans, 360,000 resident permits, and 267,000 family passport holders. 

UNHCR has maintained an uninterrupted presence in Iran for 39 years and works in close coordination with its main government counterpart the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs to provide protection and assistance to Afghan and Iraqi refugees throughout the Islamic Republic of Iran. 


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