Iran: EU funding means cash and in-kind food assistance for Afghan and Iraqi refugees

Generous support from the European Union enables the World Food Programme to assist refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq

Ram Bibi and her parents are among nearly more than 7,300 refugee families from Afghanistan and Iraq residing inside 20 settlements across Iran.

Cash assistance from the World Food Programme(WFP) facilitated by donors such as the European Union enables people to buy the foods they need, while in-kind foods such as flour enable families to make food.

Ram Bibi’s family moved to Iran when she was a small girl to escape conflict and economic instability in Afghanistan’s Herat province in the late Nineties.

In her own words: Ram Bibi

“As a young mother expecting my second child in this settlement, every day brings its own set of challenges. My husband does what he can, finding work wherever possible, but it’s rare. One day he has a job and the next, nothing.

“We can’t rely solely on his income; it’s just not enough to provide for our growing family. The uncertainty of his work means we have to make tough choices daily, prioritizing our most basic needs over everything else.

“We are forced to make difficult decisions, including reducing the number of times I visit the doctor. We simply can’t afford it. Each visit is a luxury that takes away from our basic needs, like food. It’s a constant struggle, trying to balance the health of my unborn child with the immediate needs of my family.”

*“Cash support instead of just food rations has given us the freedom to decide what our families really need. It’s not just about filling our stomachs; it’s about giving us a say in our lives. I am happy that I can make sure we have the means to live with dignity and enough food on our plate. “This support is our lifeline. Without it, I don’t know how we will live. It’s not just about the food; it’s about our dignity and our children’s future.”

Country profile

The Islamic Republic of Iran is home to one of the world’s biggest populations of refugees – 3.4 million people, the majority of whom are from Afghanistan and are settled in urban areas.

Last February, in-kind food and cash assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP) reached almost 33,000 Afghan and Iraqi refugees, including a significant number of families headed by women, persons with disabilities and the elderly.

Families headed by women, at US$6.6 per month, receive slightly more than those headed by men at US$5.2 because women have far fewer chance of earning cash or gaining employment. WFP provides cash assistance as well as livelihoods trainings to refugees.

WFP assistance ensures that Afghan and Iraqi refugees residing in settlements across Iran have access to food and essential resources, as they seek safety and stability.

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