Iran currently hosts 3 million Afghan refugees, more than a third of them undocumented. While registered refugees fleeing violence in Afghanistan have access to the Iranian health care system, shelter , subsidized education and other services, undocumented refugees are essentially on their own. They must pay for essentials with limited funds, and often face vastly inflated prices for medical services and education because of their undocumented status.
To support the health of this population, RI also offers education around water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and works to improve conditions for newborns and their mothers. In cooperation with Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education, RI is also raising awareness about the general health needs of Afghan women and promoting attended deliveries for pregnant refugees.
RI began operations in Iran in 1990 in response to the Manjil-Rudbar earthquake, which killed more than 50,000 and left 400,000 homeless.