Iran: Aid to Afghan and Iraqi refugees

National staff : 40 International staff : 4

MSF is one of the few international aid agencies providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees. It is estimated that 95% of the refugees live outside the camps. These are the refugees that MSF teams assist. The priority is to improve their access to health care. Given that natural disasters are also frequent in the region, MSF is always prepared for the onset of emergencies - such as earthquakes.

In Gulshar, in the northern suburb of Mashad, the MSF team brings aid to a health centre from where 100 medical consultations are carried out each day. MSF staff work inside the centre, and supply medicine and medical material to it. MSF also runs mobile medical teams in neighbouring areas. 80,000 Afghan refugees are targeted by this programme, of whom more than 40% are residing illegally on Iranian territory.

Since July 1997, more than 15 Afghan volunteers trained by MSF have been providing a health education programme for the refugees. They carry out home visits. MSF also gives talks in schools on the prevention of disease. An MSF team was also working with Iraqi refugees in Khozestan province until November 1998. The team provided medical assistance in a primary health care centre in the city of Ahwaz. The project has since been handed over to an Iraqi agency.