Iran + 2 more

Afghanistan situation: Emergency preparedness and response in Iran, 30 April 2022

Attachments

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

UNHCR lifted the Level 2 emergency for the Afghanistan situation in Iran in April. However, new arrivals to Iran continue, increasing the need for more support.

According to evolving estimates by the Government of Iran, approx. 500,000 Afghans arrived in Iran in 2021. Some 37,042 Afghans who arrived in Iran from 1 January 2021 to 30 April 2022 have approached UNHCR requesting assistance and protection.

Afghan families who were accommodated by the Government of Iran in Fariman are now being transferred to the Torbat-e-Jam refugee settlement. Over 200 families currently reside in the settlement shelters at Torbat-e-Jam and need immediate support. BAFIA has confirmed that all families will receive a form of document such as Laisse Passe

POLITICAL, SECURITY & HUMANITARIAN SITUATIONS IMPACTING DISPLACEMENT

▪ On 5 April, media reported that one Iranian cleric was stabbed to death and two others were injured in an attack at Iran's largest holy Shi'ite Muslim religious complex in the north-eastern city of Mashhad. There have been reports regarding the attacker’s identity being a foreign national. The Chair of Iran’s Parliament addressed the issue in the Parliament, urging the government “to be vigilant, so such events do not cause hostility among Iranian and Afghan brothers.” The Taliban has also condemned the attack and rejected any relations with Afghans or Afghanistan. In a recent meeting with BAFIA, UNHCR was reassured the Mashhad incident would not negatively impact the situation of Afghans in Iran. At the same time, the case is being followed up by the highest levels of the Government.

▪ Following the escalation of border tensions at Dogharoun in Khorasan Razavi province observed on 23 April and recent events in Afghanistan in April, a diplomat from the de facto government of Afghanistan reportedly arrived in Tehran on 25 April. Iran is the fifth country, after Pakistan, Qatar, Turkmenistan, and Russia, to accept Taliban diplomats to work in Afghan embassies and consulates. Iran, however, has maintained that this does not constitute a recognition of the de facto authorities, but a means to continue bilateral discussions.

▪ According to the head of the passport department of Afghanistan, the online registration for passports started on 9 April 2022 in Kabul. It is reported that the passport office in Kabul will issue some 2,000 passports per day and increase to 3,000 daily passports after Ramadan.

▪ UNHCR continues to rely on the Government of Iran to share figures on the total number of Afghans who arrived in Iran in 2021 and 2022. For now, UNHCR is working with the assumption that, of the approximate 500,000 new arrivals in 2021, a large number have likely been deported, others moved to Iran for livelihoods or family reasons, and have since returned voluntarily to Afghanistan, and a small number have moved onwards towards Turkey. For 2022 planning purposes, we estimate that 278,000 will remain in Iran.

▪ According to BAFIA Khorasan Razavi, 2,700 new arrivals (individuals) are now accommodated in the Fariman transit center; however, the site lacks a proper facility to accommodate a large number of arrivals.