Civil and military conflicts in neighbouring countries have surrounded Iran ever since its own war with Iraq came to an end in the late 1980s. Although the resource-rich country was able to recover from the war with Iraq, the continuous influx of refugees, especially from Afghanistan and Iraq, required international assistance.
Despite efforts to facilitate the repatriation of refugees living in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a significant number of poor and food-insecure refugee households continue to require humanitarian support; including WFP food assistance. In 2012, some 840,500 Afghan refugees and 45,000 refugees from Iraq were registered in Iran. Although the majority of them live in urban areas, about 30,000 live in 19 refugee settlements, with very limited livelihood options.
WFP aims to ensure basic food security for vulnerable Afghan and Iraqi households in refugee settlements. Although WFP has been providing general food distributions in refugee settlements since 1987, it has introduced a new targeting approach to this operation. The majority of refugees in settlements who are able to meet some of their own food needs receive a reduced WFP ration while extremely food-insecure households who have been severely affected by the removal of government subsidies and rising food prices receive an increased ration.
WFP also supports durable solutions through promoting education and technical training among refugee girls and young people to increase their livelihood opportunities and help their future reintegration in their respective countries. WFP provides incentive take-home rations to girls attending primary and secondary education. At the same time, WFP will introduce another programme to encourage youths living in settlements to attend technical training courses.