Supporting Vulnerable Afghan Refugees in Iran


Supporting Vulnerable Afghan Refugees in Iran

Fleeing conflict and instability, Afghans have sought refuge in Iran for decades. Today, the country’s Afghan refugee population totals some three million people.

Among the most vulnerable Afghans in Iran are women heads of household, the elderly, people with disabilities, and unaccompanied minors.

With support from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Relief International provides much-needed cash assistance to these especially vulnerable families.

During this two-year project, Relief International provided unconditional cash assistance on rechargeable debit cards to Afghans in Teheran, Mashhad, and Yazd, the 3 cities that host nearly half of all refugees residing in Iran. This assistance can be used to pay rent, obtain medical care and buy food, clothing and household goods.

In addition to providing cash assistance, our teams worked to tackle systematic health, water, and sanitation challenges present in these vulnerable areas of the country. The majority of Afghans are sheltered in Iranian communities already facing scarce resources. Relief International worked in these areas to promote safe access to water, and education on sanitation and hygiene practices, such as handwashing. These efforts, coupled with an initiative launched with Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education to increase the rate of attended deliveries among pregnant refugees, have helped to improve conditions for the most vulnerable Afghans: women and children.

Project Profile


IRAN — Mashad, Tehran, and Yazd provinces


  • sector_icons_economic_blk.png Economic Opportunity
  • sector_icons_healthcare_blk.png Health and Nutrition
  • sector_icons_water_blk.png Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene