Iran urges Afghan refugee resettlement
Iran has called on all countries to step up efforts for the resettlement and reintegration of Afghan refugees in their country and to counter human trafficking, Press TV reported.
"There are currently one million refugees and two million illegal immigrants in Iran," deputy Interior Minister in charge of security Ali Abdollahi said on Friday
Speaking to ambassadors from Iran's donor group for refugees, Abdollahi said that unlike in most countries, 97 percent of the refugees in Iran live among other citizens and only three percent live in refugee camps.
Abdollahi further pointed to the Islamic Republic's capacities and the measures it has taken for confronting the refugee inflows and called for cooperation in cracking down on human trafficking gangs.
The interior ministry official told IRNA that 65 percent of Afghan refugees in Iran are concentrated in 20 cities and called for Western states to help establish schools, medical centers and parks, and to provide community and sanitation services for displaced Afghans.
During the meeting, also attended by a representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Finnish Ambassador Roald Ness praised Iran for admitting and settling refugees over the past decades.
Ness called for a commitment by Western sponsor nations to double the resettlement budget and up the number of recipient countries that are to resettle refugees from Iran.
A donor group consisting of Australia, Canada, Finland, Norway and Sweden was formed in 2010 to support Iran's efforts regarding refugees.