The FAO Representative to Iran received a Note of Appreciation on Wednesday (28 Sep. 2016) from his UNHCR counterpart that welcoming the Organization as the latest partner to the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).
The Note handed over to Mr. Serge Nakouzi, the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to the Islamic Republic of Iran, by Mr. Sivanka Dhanapala, who represents the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country, highlights the contributions to be made by FAO towards SSAR objectives on livelihood related activities including livestock and fishery initiatives as well as nutritional projects in Iranian schools.
According to a press release published by the FAO Representation in Iran, the Organization is currently formulating a number of projects, one of which entitled “Capacity Building for Afghan Refugees on Fisheries and Aquaculture related skills through Practical Technical and Vocational Trainings” and which aims to provide opportunities for the refugees to earn their livelihoods in the growing Iranian fisheries and aquaculture industry.
“These trainings would, over time, enhance refugees’ financial, human and social capital and will better prepare them to find a sustainable durable solution, either in their own country or elsewhere” said Mr. Nakouzi during his meeting with UNHCR Representative in Tehran.
FAO has also invested considerable resources and technical assistance to integrate nutrition and health into schools to promote lifelong healthy eating and has been for decades promoting garden-based learning in schools for improved knowledge on nutrition and healthy life styles and agricultural skills not only among school children, but also among teachers and parents, and has been encouraging schools to create moderate-sized learning gardens for the production of a variety of fruits and vegetables -with a focus on producing micronutrient-rich vegetables and fruits- using simple techniques that are environmentally friendly.
Considering the peaceful coexistence of Afghan refugees and Iranians in the host community, FAO is also working on another project called “School Gardens for Better Nutrition in Iran for Afghan Refugees” that sees schools as golden opportunities for children of both the host community and the refugee community, to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for them to develop into healthy, self-reliant and productive members of society.
The Government of Islamic Republic of Iran is contributing significantly to support a large community of Afghan refugees hosted in the country offering them with various livelihoods opportunities, recognizing the need to empower them to earn a decent living and to positively contribute to the society during their stay in the country.
FAO officially entered the SSAR partnership at the end of August, bringing the total number of partners to 29 including governmental organizations, UN agencies, National and International Non-Governmental Organizations.