Spain donates 2.2m doses of vaccine to Afghan refugees in Iran

January 19, 2022 - 20:0

TEHRAN – A consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine from Spain amounting to 2.2 million doses arrived at Imam Khomeini Airport on Wednesday to help vaccination of Afghan refugees.

The shipment worth $10 million was delivered to the Ministry of Health, the ministry’s public relations head, Mohammad Hashemi, said, Khabaronline reported.

So far, nearly 4 million doses of vaccine have been injected into Afghan citizens in Iran.

It has always been a major supporter of refugees and displaced persons, and the provision of services to asylum seekers for four consecutive decades is a testament to this.

So far, Iran injected nearly 4 million doses of vaccine into Afghan citizens. Without any discrimination, Iran has provided various services to a large number of refugees and foreign immigrants in the fields of education, health, treatment, livelihood, vocational training, and employment, with minimal assistance from the international community.

In December 2021, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, thanked Health Minister Bahram Einollahi for including Afghan refugees in Iran’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Iran Jaffar Hussain has said it is a great achievement for Iran that the government is vaccinating every Afghan refugee going to the vaccination center even before receiving COVID vaccines from Humanitarian Buffer (COVAX).

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 are 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.

It is estimated that up to 300,000 Afghan asylum-seekers have fled to Iran this year alone in search of safety, while UNHCR has only been able to screen some 24,000 newly arrived Afghans for protection needs.

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