iran-hero-20092019.jpg
Asia

Iran

iran-map.jpg

FRAGILITY RANKING

52nd out of 178 countries


Overview

Home to one one the oldest civilizations on earth, Iran’s turquoise-domed mosques, remarkable geologic formations, and ancient forests make this country in the south-west corner of Asia one of the world’s most picturesque. Yet, due to its location, Iran is also one of the ten most disaster-prone countries in the world.

Frequent serious earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, and major storms take a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure and rural population. Earthquakes alone have killed more than 180,000 people during the last century, and the frequency of seismic activity has sharply increased over the past few years. Of the 40 different observable types of natural disasters, 31 have been identified in Iran.

The country also shares a 1,000 kilometer border with neighboring Afghanistan, and for the last 40 years Iran has hosted one of the world’s largest populations of refugees. Some 3 million Afghan refugees fleeing war and chronic poverty in their country have migrated to Iran.

Our primary focus is to support the population of nearly 3 million Afghans through comprehensive case management, and by providing healthcare, education, vocational training, and small business development services.

When natural disasters occur, Relief International is a preferred partner of the government of Iran for emergency response and reconstruction. We are a lead actor responding to the country’s most recent disasters: a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Kermanshah in 2017, and country-wide floods in 2019 which affected 26 of the Iran’s 31 provinces, and set the development of agricultural regions back decades.

“The scale of the floods that Iran saw in 2019 is unprecedented. Entire villages were washed away, and the country’s agricultural regions lost their crops just three weeks before harvest. Some of the communities affected by the floods were in areas still recovering from the 2017 earthquake that struck the Iran-Iraq border. Of the $7 billion needed to rebuild flooded communities, only 0.5% has been provided by the international community.” – Azadeh Hasani, Deputy Global Humanitarian Director and former Iran Country Director


Our Impact in Iran
6K
hygiene kits and other non-food items distributed to families who lost everything in the Norwuz floods
4.3K
Afghan refugee children receive educational support annually since 2017
1.6K
cash cards distributed to families affected by floods
108
Afghan refugees receive business skills trainings to start small enterprises across four provinces

Stories From Iran

Learn more about our work in Iran from our staff and the people we serve.

Iran

Brick by Brick: Rebuilding after Iran’s Nowruz floods

In mid-March 2019, floods hit vast parts of Iran, leaving more than 10 million people in need of humanitarian aid. Relief International was the first international nonprofit on the ground to respond to flooding. As life attempts to return to normal in flood-affected areas, the next phase of our response will prioritize rebuilding schools, healthcare facilities, and water/sanitation infrastructure to ensure families receive the critical support they need as they return home.

READ MORE

Iran

Respected Guests: Supporting Afghans in Iran

Today Iran hosts one of the world’s largest populations of refugees. Most are from neighboring Afghanistan where conflict and economic desperation has forced millions of people to migrate in search of a better life.

READ MORE

Iran

Kermanshah Earthquake: Two Years Later

Two years after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Kermanshah, an agricultural region in western Iran, nearly 5,000 people are still unable to return to their homes. The biggest challenge has come, not during the immediate response, but in the lengthy reconstruction efforts that have followed since.

READ MORE
An Iranian family walks through a flooded street in a village around the city of Ahvaz, in Iran's Khuzestan province, on March 31, 2019. Mehdi Pedramkhoo/AFP/Getty Images

Iran

Brick by Brick: Rebuilding after Iran’s Nowruz floods

Afghan refugees in Iran. Pierre Prakash/ECHO

Iran

Respected Guests: Supporting Afghans in Iran

A man sits in front of the rubble of his former home, which was destroyed by a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck along the Iran-Iraq border in late 2017. RI/RI Staff.

Iran

Kermanshah Earthquake: Two Years Later

An Iranian family walks through a flooded street in a village around the city of Ahvaz, in Iran's Khuzestan province, on March 31, 2019. Mehdi Pedramkhoo/AFP/Getty Images
Afghan refugees in Iran. Pierre Prakash/ECHO
A man sits in front of the rubble of his former home, which was destroyed by a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck along the Iran-Iraq border in late 2017. RI/RI Staff.
An Iranian family walks through a flooded street in a village around the city of Ahvaz, in Iran's Khuzestan province, on March 31, 2019. Mehdi Pedramkhoo/AFP/Getty Images

Brick by Brick: Rebuilding after Iran’s Nowruz floods

Afghan refugees in Iran. Pierre Prakash/ECHO

Respected Guests: Supporting Afghans in Iran

A man sits in front of the rubble of his former home, which was destroyed by a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck along the Iran-Iraq border in late 2017. RI/RI Staff.

Kermanshah Earthquake: Two Years Later

1990 Earthquake in Northern Persia (Iran) - Photo by M. Mehrain. Dames and Moore (National Geophysical Data Center, United States)

Timeline

1990

Relief International is founded by a group of concerned individuals in Los Angeles to respond to the Manjil– Rudbar earthquake in Iran, the country’s worst natural disaster on record that killed over 50,000 people. The group sends blankets, food, and other relief supplies to affected communities.

iran-golestan-province-floods-260819-e1566845979545.jpg

Timeline

2001

Flash flooding in Golestan Province, in northern Iran, leaves more than 200 people dead. Relief International provides emergency assistance to the flood-affected population in the area.

Relief International reconstructs and equips a demolished school in Avanak village. RI

Timeline

2002

After Bou’in-Zahra earthquake strikes with the magnitude of 6.5, Relief International reconstructs and equips a demolished school in Avanak village.

Relief International at work in Bam following 6.6 earthquake. RI

Timeline

2003

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits the city of Bam and destroys 70% of its residential areas. Relief International reconstructs 850 houses, a library, a bakery, and a computer center. We establish women self-help groups and set up micro loan pools in PoshtRud and Esfikan villages, reinvigorate livelihood opportunities.

Timeline

2007

Relief International starts to provides microloans to vulnerable Iranians in eight villages.

Relief International programs support Afghan refugees in Iran. RI

Timeline

2008

Relief International begins programming to support Afghan refugees, 3 million of whom have fled war and violence seeking refuge in neighboring Iran. Our first programs are supported by the European Union and focus on education, vocational training, and provision of necessary tools to gain employment in local markets.

Relief International in Iran

Timeline

2010

Relief International provided assistance to the Afghan refugee out-of-school children together with our local NGO partner, HAMI. This project is implemented in one center in Mashhad and two centers in Tehran.

Relief International in Iran

Timeline

2012

Relief International implements technical vocation skills training in partnership with TVTO in Kerman for Afghan refugees. We then distribute tool kits among top graduates.

Timeline

2015

We launch new cash assistance programs for Afghan refugees in Razavi Khorasan and Yazd provinces.

Relief International in Iran

Timeline

2016

Relief International becomes the first international organization to be granted permission to begin activities targeting vulnerable families – both Afghan and Iranian — in Sistan Baluchestan. We launch our programs that offer small business trainings and loans to participants who wish to start enterprises.

Relief International in Iran

Timeline

2017

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes Kermanshah, a province on the Iran-Iraq border. Relief International supplemented government and Red Crescent efforts by distributing mattresses, dust mask and supplies to the newly homeless. We continue to aid in reconstruction to the present day, and to date have rebuilt more than two dozen schools in the earthquake zone.

Relief International in Iran

Timeline

2019

Weeks of heavy rains during the Norwuz holiday turns into catastrophic floods. Relief International is the first international nonprofit on the ground to respond by providing emergency supplies like hygiene kits, and providing unconditional cash transfers of $120 per family to those whose homes, schools, farmlands and livestock were washed away by the floods.

iran-mehrain-dames-moore-noaa-ngdc-060819-700x422.jpg
1990
iran-golestan-province-floods-260819-e1566845979545-750x422.jpg
2001
iran-golestan-province-ri-060819-600x422.jpg
2002
iran-bam-ri-060819-750x422.jpg
2003
2007
iran-afghan-refugees-timeline-060819-750x422.jpg
2008
iran-timeline-2010-750x422.jpg
2010
iran-timeline-2012-750x422.jpg
2012
2015
iran-timeline-2016-e1565362782364-750x422.jpg
2016
iran-timeline-2017-e1565363310617-750x422.jpg
2017
iran-timeline-2019-e1565363368189-750x422.jpg
2019
iran-featured-project-about-150819-e1567096982759.jpg
Featured Project

Supporting Vulnerable Afghan Refugees in Iran

The Afghan refugee population is the fifth largest refugee population in the world. With support from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Relief International provides much-needed cash assistance to these especially vulnerable families.

Donate to Relief International

Make a difference today

With a gift to Relief International, you can help deliver safe drinking water. You can help provide healthcare to displaced families, far from home. You can help ensure girls and boys alike receive an education, which in turn creates paths towards employment. This all starts with you.

Enter an amount to give
$
Bangladesh. Rachel Elkind/RI