World’s Biggest Refugee Populations

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) considers Iran as a “donor” as it has been host to one of the world’s biggest refugee populations for over three decades, with limited international support.

According to a press release release issued by the UNHCR in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s generosity in hosting the 2nd largest refugee population in the world is complimented with the contributions of the donor countries and the work of the commissioner’s partners which have enabled refugees to have access to life saving medical assistance, educational facilities and improved livelihoods.

2011 was a year of increased voluntary repatriation; however UNHCR continued to support the remaining refugees through assisting the government with projects in the fields of health, education, and livelihoods.

In addition to primary health care services, refugees were given the right to apply for health insurance which was of great assistance to many; literacy classes were organized for over-aged and out-of-school refugees; vocational training was held for refugees around the country to provide them with income generating skills and help improve their livelihoods; an increased number of refugees were resettled to third countries.

Bernard Doyle, UNHCR Representative in Iran said, “We are thankful for this collaboration which is vital to achieving our goal of enhanced protection for refugees and UNHCR is grateful that despite these times of global economic turbulence its partners and donors have once again shown confidence in this organization. We re-emphasize the importance of the International Communities’ continuous burden sharing.”

UNHCR considers Iran as a “donor” itself as it has been host to one of the world’s biggest refugee populations for over three decades, with limited international support.

2011 has seen increased support to the Iran program from the governments of Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Slovak Republic, Sweden and the European Union through funds, in kind donation and offering higher resettlement quotas.

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