The Republic of Korea has confirmed a first ever multi-year contribution to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) within the framework of the Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).
TEHRAN -- A regional, multi-year strategy, the SSAR has been spearheaded by UNHCR and endorsed by the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, supporting voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration as well as the efforts of host countries to assist refugees.
Over a three-year period, starting in 2014, the Republic of Korea is donating US$5.6 million to UNHCR and US$1.4 million to WFP to assist Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran, together with support from the host government.
Through UNHCR, the Republic of Korea’s contribution supports vocational training such as courses to provide refugees with skills in order to become self-reliant. This includes the construction of schools in areas of high concentration of refugees to promote co-existence between refugee and host communities and enhance access to education; literacy courses which provide a foundation for further education and skills training; and medical assistance for the most vulnerable refugees. UNHCR’s Representative in Iran Sivanka Dhanapala expressed appreciation: “The humanitarian commitment of the Republic of Korea is supporting education, livelihood opportunities and access to health care for Afghan refugees in Iran so they may be healthy and better equipped to contribute to Afghan society when they choose to return in a safe and dignified manner.”
The funding also enables WFP to continue its assistance to 30,000 refugees in settlements across the country with a monthly basket of basic food items that include bread, rice, sugar, lentils and oil. In addition, in order to promote girls’ education, 3,000 refugee schoolgirls, their female teachers and 200 youth who attend skills training courses receive a take-home ration of sunflower oil. “We are very grateful for the generous contribution from the Government of the Republic of Korea which helps us in our life-saving mission and provides genuine support to the most vulnerable Afghans living as long-term refugees. Multi-year contributions are essential for good planning and ensuring continuity of assistance,” said WFP Representative in Iran, Negar Gerami.
“The Republic of Korea highly appreciates the generous support from the Islamic Republic of Iran for the Afghan refugees and sincerely hopes this contribution helps Afghan refugees in Iran enjoy a better life in the future,” said the Korean Ambassador in Tehran, Song Woong-Yeob.
For more than 30 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted and supported one of the world’s largest urban refugee populations - mainly Afghan refugees who left their home due to conflict and war.