Afghan refugees cost Iran $6m per day

Iran spends ‘some six million dollars per day’ on Afghan refugees who have left home for security reasons and high unemployment rates.

Taqi Qaemi, the director of Interior Ministry’s Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA), says the budget allocated to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Iran is so small that it does not even suffice for a few-hour stay of the Afghan refugees in Iran.

“The UNHCR bureau in Iran had a budget of $12.8 million in 2007,” Qaemi said in a news conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

“Some 864,000 legal Afghan immigrants and more than two million illegal Afghan immigrants live in Iran,” the Iranian official said.

“Iran does not have any expectations from international bodies on helping the Afghan refugees, and the only thing it wants is to pave the way for the return of these refugees to their country,” he explained.

Qaemi added that in 2007 some five thousand Afghan refugees volunteered to return to their home country.


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