"We are extremely grateful to the people and Government of Germany for this timely contribution. These funds will help us serve extremely vulnerable refugees, especially women and children," said WFP Iran Country Director Negar Gerami. "We hope the international community increases its support to refugees in Iran since many of them rely entirely on WFP assistance for their daily food needs."
WFP provides 30,000 of the most vulnerable refugees with a monthly ration of basic food items including bread, rice, sugar, lentils and vegetable oil. In addition, WFP provides a take-home ration of vegetable oil to 3,000 refugee schoolgirls and their female teachers in 19 settlements across Iran. The take-home ration is a strong incentive for parents to send their daughters to school, which helps promote girls' education and bridge the gender gap.
Germany's contribution will be used to buy 2,156 metric tons of fortified wheat flour, 194 metric tons of vegetable oil enriched with vitamins, 186 metric tons of lentils and 321 metric tons of rice for distribution among Afghan and Iraqi refugees living in settlements across Iran. Most of this food will be purchased locally to ensure speedy delivery and conformity with Iranian standards.
This year, Germany has doubled its contribution to WFP in Iran, making it one of WFP's top donors in the country.
"During the past twelve months the issue of refugees has sadly become an even greater concern for the international community than before. The German Government greatly deplores the plight of millions of refugees fleeing war and conflict," said Germany's Ambassador in Tehran Michael Von Ungern-Sternberg. "Iran has accepted many refugees coming from neighbouring countries, in particular from Afghanistan. For this, the Government of Iran deserves international recognition. Germany wants to support this policy through, among other means, contributing to WFP's vital assistance programmes for refugees in Iran."
The Islamic Republic of Iran hosts the world's fourth largest refugee population, following Turkey, Pakistan and Lebanon, with nearly 980,000 registered Afghan and Iraqi refugees in the country.
WFP has been providing assistance to these refugees since the arrival of the first asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq in the late 1980s.
Source: World Food Programme