European Union supports wfp assistance to refugees in Iran

Tehran/Iran – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Iran welcomes its first-ever contribution from the European Union (EU) that will allow the food agency to provide cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugees in the country.

This significant funding of €1.5 million comes through the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) and will support nearly 33,000 refugees residing in 20 settlements across the country.

“We are immensely grateful for the EU’s support that will help us address the most urgent food and nutrition needs of vulnerable refugees as well as help build their resilience for a better future and make a tangible difference in their lives,” said WFP Representative and Country Director (a.i.) in Iran Baton Osmani.

Iran is already the second largest refugee-hosting country globally after Türkiye, hosting over 3.4 million refugees and refugee-like populations, but the influx of vulnerable Afghans seeking refuge in Iran has further strained the country’s economy.

“We stand by refugees who fled their countries and are currently in Iran,” says Taheeni Thammannagoda, who oversees EU-funded humanitarian operations in Iran. “The contribution from the EU will support WFP’s operations and will ensure that the most vulnerable refugees have enough means to meet their basic needs.”

By the end of 2023, the settlement population is projected to increase to 52,000, following the completion of status determinations for many newly arrived individuals. WFP’s current two-year plan reaffirms the agency’s commitment to supporting all vulnerable refugees residing in settlements through the provision of unconditional cash assistance to meet their basic needs, with a focus on improving food security.

Thanks to donor 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 continuing its support until a durable solution is found


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