The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of Korea has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran through the signing of a new Letter of Understanding with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iran on Monday 5 September 2016.
MOFA of the Republic of Korea will provide a voluntary financial contribution of 6 million US dollars (USD 6,000,000) to the UNHCR project “Protection and Humanitarian Assistance to Afghan refugee Girls in Iran”. In collaboration with the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) of the Ministry of Interior of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, this generous contribution will support UNHCR’s humanitarian activities for refugee girls in Iran by improving their health status and self-reliance, and through ensuring their optimal access to education and sustainable livelihoods. The objectives of this project will be achieved through a variety of activities including:
- Supporting the Universal Public Health Insurance Scheme
- Providing assistance to maintain health facilities
- Constructing or renovating schools
- Supporting the provision of literacy courses
- Procuring and distributing hygiene kits
- Procuring and distributing sanitary kits
- Providing business training to establish home-based enterprises
- Providing formal vocational training
This generous contribution will be used to fund activities during the project period 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017, and will be implemented nationwide by UNHCR Iran, in coordination with BAFIA, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Literacy Movement Organization, the Technical and Vocational Training Organization (TVTO) and national NGO partners.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Iran, Kim Seung-Ho, and UNHCR Representative, Sivanka Dhanapala, marked the occasion by signing a Letter of Understanding on Monday at UNHCR’s country office in Tehran. Also joining the signature ceremony was Ms. Jinyoung Park from the Humanitarian Assistance Division of MOFA. Ms. Park just arrived in Iran as part of a mission to visit refugee assistance projects including health posts, community-based initiatives, TVTO classes, a refugee settlement, and schools in Shiraz and Tehran.
For nearly four decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted and supported one of the largest urban refugee situations in the world. An estimated 951,000 registered Afghan refugees, 28,000 Iraqi refugees and some 1.5 - 2 million undocumented Afghans are currently living in Iran, many of whom are second or third generation refugees that have never been to Afghanistan. UNHCR has maintained an uninterrupted presence in the country for 32 years, and works in close coordination with BAFIA to provide protection and assistance to Afghan and Iraqi refugees throughout the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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