TEHRAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warmly welcomed a contribution from the Government of France for its refugee operation in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The French donation of €200,000 will allow WFP to purchase 400 metric tons of wheat flour and 48 metric tons of vegetable oil enriched with vitamins and minerals for distribution among Afghan and Iraqi refugees living in settlements throughout Iran.
The UN food agency provides 30,000 refugees with a monthly basket of basic food items that include bread, rice, sugar, lentils and oil. In addition, in order to promote girls’ education and bridge the gender gap, WFP provides a take-home ration of vegetable oil to 3,000 refugee schoolgirls and their female teachers in 19 settlements across the country.
“France recognises the burden borne by the Iranian authorities to welcome Afghan refugees on their soil. With this donation, we wish to support WFP in Iran and the projects implemented by this organisation,” said the French Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran H. E. Bruno Foucher, announcing the contribution at a special ceremony held in the presence of Director General of BAFIA, Dr. Aziz Kazemi.
“It is a modest contribution, but it aims to show our commitment to help the Iranians face the tremendous challenge of the Afghan exile. WFP and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in cooperation with the Bureau of Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs of the Ministry of Interior (BAFIA), are doing essential, high quality work to address this challenge.”
After Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran hosts the second largest refugee population in the world with some 890,000 registered Afghan and Iraqi refugees in the country.
WFP has been providing assistance to Afghan and Iraqi refugees since the arrival of the first asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq in the late 1980s.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
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