In Iran, WFP aims to address the basic food needs of refugees, strengthen their coping mechanisms and support their efforts to achieve food security through a prolonged relief and recovery operation. Currently, 950,000 Afghans and 50,000 Iraqi refugees still live in Iran in areas designated by the government.
WFP is currently providing food assistance to some 30,000 Iraqi and Afghan refugees living in 18 settlements located in the designated areas in 12 different Iranian provinces. Refugees receive a 14 kg monthly basket of staple food items such as wheat flour, rice, pulses, sugar and vegetable oil. The food basket provides each person with an average of 1,738 kcal per day covering a significant 83 percent of a person’s minimum daily requirement.
WFP also provides an additional monthly take-home ration of vegetable oil as an education incentive to some 3,000 primary and secondary refugee schoolgirls and their female teachers. This intervention aims to stabilise girls’ enrolment rates in primary schools as well as increase enrolment and reduce drop-out rates among girls in secondary schools. The additional ration encourages families to send their girls to school and has significantly reduced the gap between the enrolment rate of girls and boys from 30 percent in 1999 to 12.5 percent in 2007.
Joint Monitoring visits by WFP, UNHCR and the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign. Immigrants (BAFIA) are conducted twice a year in all 18 settlements where refugees reside. These visits aim to ensure that refugees have access to adequate quantity and quality of food besides monitoring food storage, handling and distribution and ensuring it is in line with WFP standards.
In July 2012, WFP and UNHCR conducted a Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) to ensure that food security and refugees’ food-related requirements are adequately addressed throughout the on-going operation as well as to envisage future WFP activities in Iran.