IOM pledges more support for Iran

May 22, 2023 - 15:56

TEHRAN - Lalini Veerassamy, the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, has said the organization will make every effort to provide Iran with more support.

The services provided to immigrants in Iran are not at all comparable to other countries of the world, including Europeans, and unfortunately, these services for immigrants are ignored, she added.

“As long as I am in Iran, I will take the issue of immigrants seriously, and we understand that the Islamic Republic alone bears 90 percent of the problems of immigrants.

We will do our best to allocate more resources to Iran and provide quality services to immigrants.”

“Although we have a small team in Iran, we have many capabilities to enter the field of crisis management and we want to reach a common solution on how to cooperate with the crisis management organization and exchange experiences and manage non-cash items,” she stressed.

Veerassamy went on to say that examining the situation of immigrants in Iran requires long and short-term multilateral cooperation.

Last year, 31 million people affected by natural disasters were covered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and this support will continue, she noted.

Some 70 percent of the Organization's credits and budget are allocated to respond to crises and natural disasters, and stabilizing the conditions of the victims is another part of IOM's responsibility, she highlighted.

In addition to crisis management and helping the victims, the Organization is also active in pre-crisis prevention, she concluded.

In April, Veerassamy said the world should know the services that are offered to refugees in Iran.

“I believe that the world should know what Iran is doing for the people of Afghanistan and should know that all these services are based on humanitarian principles that the international organization encourages,” she added.

“I thank you for this responsibility and the actions and services you have provided to Afghan immigrants in this country over the decades.”

She made the remarks in a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Iran Kazutoshi Aikawa that was held in the city of Kerman in the presence of Governor General Mohammad-Mehdi Fadakar.

“We try to increase our support in this field. Of course, the support of international organizations is needed to provide better services.”

“The International Organization for Migration has a broad presence in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey and we hope to provide the same services in Iran with the support of the Iranian government,” she stressed.

Iran is home to over 800,000 registered refugees and some 2.6 million undocumented Afghans.

Many of the refugees living in Iran are second and third-generation, according to the UNHCR. 

In October 2022, the Iranian delegation at the 73rd meeting of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner for Refugees said with the continued allocation of insufficient international aid, it is very difficult and almost impossible for the Islamic Republic to continue providing services to refugees and unauthorized foreign nationals.

Despite the cruel and unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, Iran has so far hosted a large number of refugees beyond its fair share.

Several decades of hosting refugees as well as undocumented Afghan citizens have created huge economic and social costs for Iran.

For this long time, the Islamic Republic has pursued this mission despite numerous economic and social problems caused by regional crises as well as illegal and unfair sanctions, along with insufficient international aid and mainly using limited domestic resources.

It is appropriate to increase international aid to accommodate foreign citizens in the country and not to be forgotten when new crises arise.

Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees, while thanking Iran for its long-term measures in supporting Afghan refugees, stressed the need to increase international support for Iran and implement sustainable solutions, including the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons.

António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has praised Iran’s generosity which – for decades – has hosted millions of Afghans in need.

I will never forget the generosity of countries like Pakistan and Iran, which – for decades – have hosted millions of Afghans in need,” Guterres said in a statement released on January 26 to the Security Council on Afghanistan.


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