Germany ready to help support refugees in Iran: envoy

October 15, 2021 - 17:58

TEHRAN – German Ambassador to Iran Hans Odo Motzel has expressed readiness to help solve the problems of refugees by expanding cooperation with international organizations, appreciating Iran for the services provided to refugees.

“We will do our best to remove the obstacles and challenges facing the refugees,” Motzel said in a meeting with Mehdi Mahmoudi, director of citizens and foreign immigrants of the Ministry of Interior, on Wednesday.

Regarding the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, the ambassador said that Germany has also allocated a budget for the supply of the vaccine for refugees.

For over 40 years, Iran has supported refugees in the fields of health, education, vocational training, and employment. Mahmoudi, for his part, said that for more than 40 years, Iran has supported refugees in the fields of health, education, vocational training, employment, and emergencies such as floods, earthquakes, etc., despite numerous economic problems and unfair sanctions.

He further called on the international community to financially support the vaccination of refugees.

Due to the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and the possibility of a new wave of refugees, the Islamic Republic will not be able to accept newcomers due to existing restrictions and lack of necessary facilities, he lamented.

In 2021 alone, UNHCR is directly aware of some 18,000 Afghans who newly arrived in Iran using irregular routes, although the total number that has entered the country is likely to be significantly higher. Since the beginning of the year, over 660,000 persons were newly displaced within Afghanistan itself.

Iran hosting world's fourth-largest refugee community

Iran is hosting the world's fourth-largest refugee community. The country has generously hosted approximately 1 million refugees for the past 30 years. The majority, which mainly came from Afghanistan and Iraq, live in urban areas. Approximately 31,000 of the most vulnerable refugees living in 20 settlements located throughout the country.

Based on the latest statistics, over 3 million Afghans are living in Iran - some 780,000 Afghan refugees, over 2 million undocumented Afghans, and another 600,000 Afghan passport-holders with Iranian visas.

However, in light of the pandemic, all refugees, even those undocumented, benefited from access to free primary health services and free COVID-19 related testing, treatment, and hospitalization, just like Iranian nationals.

The same happened for the vaccination when the country has generously considered refugees over the age of 75 for vaccination against coronavirus.

In order to support the refugees living in the country, the seventh phase of the health insurance plan will cover 120,000 vulnerable refugees through a memorandum of understanding signed between the Health Insurance Organization and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

In Iran, UNHCR is seeking $16.2 million for its COVID-19 emergency, while requires an additional $98.7 million to support Iran in maintaining and sustaining its commendable inclusive refugee policies, under the umbrella of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).

FB/MG
 

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