"UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has stepped up its cash assistance to support thousands of extremely vulnerable refugees whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the continuing coronavirus pandemic in the Islamic Republic of Iran. But further funding is needed to support many more who are facing increased hardship and destitution," a press release attributed to Baloch read, Sputnik reported.
According to UNHCR, nearly one million refugees, the bulk from Afghanistan, currently reside in Iran. The agency has boosted its payments to vulnerable refugees amid the disease-related economic contraction and the rising cost of certain foodstuffs and public transport.
"UNHCR estimates that the main breadwinner in approximately one-third of all refugee households has been left unemployed. Many refugees, who were already struggling to make ends meet, find it more and more difficult to fend for themselves," Baloch added.
The agency, in cooperation with its Iranian government counterpart, the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs, has given assistance to as many as 20,000 refugees since the start of the pandemic, the representative stated.
Iran has registered more than 500,000 cases of the disease since the start of the pandemic.