TEHRAN (FNA)- German Ambassador to Tehran Michael Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg hailed Iran’s support for Afghan refugees living in Iran.
“Iran has successfully managed the issues pertaining to the Afghan refugees living in Iran and the country has spent the money provided by the international agencies for betterment of their standard of life,” Ungern-Sternberg made the remarks during his visit to an Afghan refugee camp in Saveh, near Tehran.
The German ambassador noted that Iran is observing the goals set by Food and Agriculture Organization very well in the camp.
Iran has been a generous host for more than 2 million Afghan refugees for two decades, with little help from the international community.
Tehran has called on the international community to strengthen support for Iran for hosting the Afghan refugees and provide repatriation support for the refugees.
Voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran has slowed in recent years in the face of poor security and economic conditions in Afghanistan, which Tehran blames on the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
The office of the UNHCR was established by the UN General Assembly in 1950.
According to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.
UNHCR first opened an office in Iran in 1984 and expanded its presence with the massive influx of Iraqi refugees following the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the start of Afghans’ mass return movement to Afghanistan in 1992.
Today UNHCR has its Central office representation in Tehran, plus three sub offices in Mashhad, Kerman and Ahwaz.