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2015 UNHCR country operations profile - Islamic Republic of Iran

| Overview |

Working environment

UNHCR 2015 Iran country operations map

  • Despite the voluntary return of hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi refugees to their countries of origin during the past decade, the Islamic Republic of Iran remains host to one of the world's largest and most protracted refugee populations.

  • Between January 2002 and June 2014, UNHCR assisted 918,263 Afghans in voluntarily returning home from the Islamic Republic of Iran. A total of 30,349 Iraqi refugees have been assisted to repatriate voluntarily since 2003. However, the number of people who have returned in 2013-2014 is lower than in previous years, so they require continued assistance.

  • The global economic downturn, removal of subsidies, and intensified international sanctions have caused hyperinflation, affected the delivery of basic services, and resulted in a dramatic rise in living costs in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some 24 per cent of registered refugees are considered vulnerable, a rate that is expected to increase due to the economic situation.

  • Sanctions also continue to negatively impact UNHCR's ability to provide humanitarian assistance in an effective and timely manner. High inflation rates have substantial consequences for both the operation and partners.

  • The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran plays an active role in the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR). This strategy promotes a holistic approach to enhancing prospects of sustainable returns and attaining a permanent solution for the protracted refugee situation.

  • The Government is the primary contributor to the country's refugee programmes through its ministries. Additional support is provided through semi-governmental organizations and social charities.

People of concern

The main populations of concern to UNHCR in 2015 in the Islamic Republic of Iran include Afghan refugees, the majority of whom arrived before 2001 as prima facie refugees. About 97 per cent of the country's refugees live in rural and urban areas; only three per cent live in settlements. Following the comprehensive registration programme of refugees in 2001, all Afghan asylum-seekers are required to have their refugee status determined on an individual basis through the government refugee status determination (RSD) procedure.

Also of concern are Iraqi refugees, most of whom were registered in 2002 as prima facie refugees. New Iraqi asylum-seekers are now also required to have their refugee status determined individually through the government RSD procedure. The majority of newly arrived Iraqi refugees originate from central Iraq.

UNHCR 2015 planning figures for Islamic Republic of Iran
Type of population Origin January 2015 December 2015
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 982,120 982,120 982,120 982,120
Refugees Afghanistan 950,000 950,000 950,000 950,000
Iraq 32,000 32,000 32,000 32,000
Pakistan 10 10 10 10
Various 60 60 60 60
Asylum-seekers Afghanistan 40 40 40 40
Pakistan 10 10 10 10

| Response |

Needs and strategies

The organization will aim to bolster the country's asylum space by supporting the Government, and will support building refugees' human capital in preparation for a sustainable return to their country of origin or to a third country.

The programme focuses on health, education, livelihood generation and durable solutions. Hence, projects will empower refugees to contribute to reconstructing Afghanistan and facilitate their reintegration upon eventual return. The implementation of cross-border initiatives will help prioritize projects and initiatives to increase their impact.

UNHCR will enhance its interventions in urban areas, where most vulnerable refugees reside. Future interventions in settlements will take into account the urgency of assistance, cost-effectiveness, and protection concerns. Interventions in settlements will be streamlined to ensure assistance does not become a pull-factor increasing the population, but rather improves the standard of living of existing residents and promotes peaceful coexistence with host communities.

| Implementation |

Coordination

The Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants' Affairs, which has the overall responsibility for coordinating refugee affairs in cooperation with other line ministries, remains UNHCR's main partner when implementing activities and coordinating with other actors.

The Office will continue to coordinate with WFP to support vulnerable refugees in settlements with food.

With UNIDO, the Technical and Vocational Training Organization, Forest Range and Watershed Management Organization, Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development and World Relief Foundation, UNHCR seeks to implement livelihood projects.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education will continue to be UNHCR's main partner concerning education; while activities will also be jointly implemented with UNICEF and NGOs.

The Ministry of Health will remain the key actor in providing health services; however, activities for people of concern with specific needs will continue to rely on other implementing partners such as the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, the State Welfare Organization of Iran, Association for Protection of Refugee Women and Children, Society for Recovery Support, and Iraqi Refugee Aid Council.

2015 UNHCR partners in Islamic Republic of Iran
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants' Affairs (Ministry of the Interior), Forests Range and Watershed Management Organization (Ministry of Agriculture), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, State Welfare Organization of Iran, Technical and Vocational Training Organization
NGOs: Association for Protection of Refugee Women and Children, Chain of Hope, Iraqi Refugee Aid Council, Kowsar Scientific and Cultural Foundation, Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development, Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, Rebirth Charity Organization, Society for Recovery Support, Society to Protect Children Suffering from Cancer, World Relief Foundation
Others: UNIDO, UNOPS
Operational partners
NGOs: Association for Protection of Child Labourers, Behnam Daheshpour Charity Organisation, Danish Refugee Council, Humanitarian Ambassadors Organisation, International Consortium for Refugees in Iran, Norwegian Refugee Council, Relief International
Others: IOM, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, WFP

| Financial information |

During the past five years, UNHCR's budget in the Islamic Republic of Iran has gradually increased to better address the needs of Afghan and Iraqi refugees. In 2015, the operation's budget totals USD 73 million, amounting to 6.3 per cent (USD 4.3 million) more than in 2014.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update


UNHCR contact information

The UNHCR Representation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Style of Address The UNHCR Representation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Street Address No 3, East Emdad Street,, Vanak Sq, North Shiraz Ave., 1991775941 Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Mailing Address No 3, East Emdad Street,, Vanak Sq, North Shiraz Ave, 1991775941 Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Telephone 98 21 429 39
Facsimile 98 21 89 349 900
Website http://www.unhcr.org.ir/
Email irnte@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 3.3
Working Hours
Monday:8:30 - 16:00
Tuesday:8:30 - 16:00
Wednesday:8:30 - 16:00
Thursday:8:30 - 16:00
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:8:30 - 16:00
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
11 February 2014, Victory of Islamic Revoution
23 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
24 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
02 April 2014, Nature Day
12 June 2014, Birthday of Imam Ghaem
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
05 October 2014, Eid-e-Ghorban
04 November 2014, Ashoora
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Head of Field Office at Dogharun
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Field Office at Dogharun
Street Address Ansar Camp, Dogharoun, Taybad,, Dogharoun, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Mailing Address Ansar Camp, Dogharoun, Taybad,, Dogharoun, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Telephone 98 529 425 7355 57
Facsimile 98 529 427 3358
Website http://www.unhcr.org.ir/
Email irndo@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 3.3
Working Hours
Monday:8:30 - 16:00
Tuesday:8:30 - 16:00
Wednesday:8:30 - 16:00
Thursday:8:30 - 16:00
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:8:30 - 16:00
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
11 February 2014, Victory of Islamic Revoution
23 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
24 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
02 April 2014, Nature Day
12 June 2014, Birthday of Imam Ghaem
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
05 October 2014, Eid-e-Ghorban
04 November 2014, Ashoora
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Kerman
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Kerman
Street Address 42, Hezar-o-Yekshab Ave, Jomhouri Islami Blvd, (In the corner of the third alley), Kerman, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Mailing Address 42, Hezar-o-Yekshab Ave, Jomhouri Islami Blvd, 7618653588 Kerman, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Telephone 98 34 32477794
Facsimile 98 34 32477746
Website http://unhcr.org.ir/en/kerman
Email IRNKM@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 3.3
Working Hours
Monday:08:00 - 16:15
Tuesday:08:00 - 16:15
Wednesday:08:00 - 16:15
Thursday:08:00 - 16:15
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:08:00 - 16:15
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
11 February 2014, Victory of Islamic Revoution
23 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
24 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
02 April 2014, Nature Day
12 June 2014, Birthday of Imam Ghaem
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
05 October 2014, Eid-e-Ghorban
04 November 2014, Ashoora
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Sub-Office at Shiraz
Style of Address The UNHCR Sub-Office at Shiraz
Street Address Podonak Street, Shiraz, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Mailing Address Podonak Street, Shiraz, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Telephone 98 711 722 9690
Facsimile 98 711 722 9690 Ext 290
Website http://www.unhcr.org.ir/
Email irnsh@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 3.3
Working Hours
Monday:08:30 - 16:00
Tuesday:08:30 - 16:00
Wednesday:08:30 - 16:00
Thursday:08:30 - 16:00
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:08:30 - 16:00
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
11 February 2014, Victory of Islamic Revoution
23 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
24 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
02 April 2014, Nature Day
12 June 2014, Birthday of Imam Ghaem
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
05 October 2014, Eid-e-Ghorban
04 November 2014, Ashoora
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Sub-Office in Mashhad
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Mashhad
Street Address 45, Sajjad Blvd, 9187713994, Mashhad, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Mailing Address P.O.BOX 91775 - 1876, Mashhad, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Telephone 98 511 768 5081
Facsimile 98 511 768 3017
Website http://www.unhcr.org.ir/
Email irnma@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 3.3
Working Hours
Monday:8:30 - 16:00
Tuesday:8:30 - 16:00
Wednesday:8:30 - 16:00
Thursday:8:30 - 16:00
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:8:30 - 16:00
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
11 February 2014, Victory of Islamic Revoution
23 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
24 March 2014, Nowrooz 1392
02 April 2014, Nature Day
12 June 2014, Birthday of Imam Ghaem
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
05 October 2014, Eid-e-Ghorban
04 November 2014, Ashoora
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Islamic Republic of Iran [1]
Refugees [2] 857,354
Asylum Seekers [3] 47
Returned Refugees [4] 1
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 857,402
Originating from Islamic Republic of Iran [1]
Refugees [2] 75,043
Asylum Seekers [3] 28,803
Returned Refugees [4] 1
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 28
Total Population of Concern 103,875

Islamic Republic of Iran UNHCR Maps Rss FeedUNHCR Maps

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At a recent conference in Geneva, the international community endorsed a "solutions strategy" for millions of Afghan refugees and those returning to Afghanistan after years in exile. The plan, drawn up between Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and UNHCR, aims to support repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries.

It will benefit refugee returnees to Afghanistan as well as 3 million Afghan refugees, including 1 million in Iran and 1.7 million in Pakistan.

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