United Kingdom contributes £1 million to support Afghan refugees in Iran

WFP

TEHRAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes its first-ever contribution from the United Kingdom in support of vulnerable refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The £1 million contribution through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will allow WFP to preposition assistance for potential new arrivals from Afghanistan with ready-to eat meals and other rations. It also gives WFP the flexibility to channel part of the contribution towards supporting 31,000 refugees who have already been living in 20 settlements across the country, helping to stabilize their food security situation and avoid any further population movements.

This timely allocation will enhance WFP’s life-saving mission, allowing WFP to quickly respond to any increased additional needs through a combination of cash and direct food assistance.

“We’re extremely grateful to the FCDO for this generous contribution and its support to our operations in Iran,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Negar Gerami. “The harsh winter months, job losses, lack of cash and soaring prices have pushed the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan to new highs, with close to 23 million threatened by food insecurity. It is critical that WFP remains prepared to respond to any sudden onset refugee emergency.”

Simon Shercliff, the UK Ambassador to Iran said: “We are pleased to help Iran support the large numbers of Afghan refugees who have chosen to leave Afghanistan. This contribution enables WFP to provide these refugees with vital food assistance, including ready-to-eat meals and other rations. The UK stands with the people of Afghanistan and regional partners in pursuit of a stable, peaceful future for the country.”

The recent fast-paced turn of events in Afghanistan has the potential to create additional population movements; displacing families internally and potentially driving them to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The Islamic Republic of Iran is host to one of the largest and most protracted urban refugee situations in the world and has provided asylum to refugees for over four decades.

Thanks to donors’ support, WFP has been providing assistance to refugees in Iran since the arrival of the first asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq in the late 1980s. The food agency remains committed to continue its support until a durable solution is found.

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