South-West Asia

Operational information on the South-West Asia subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format.​ This subregion covers the following countries:

Subregion: South-West Asia


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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion South-West Asia

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2017 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[382.93488602,360.170297977,473.351600748,361.946634964,323.79242552,319.82405521],"expenditure":[158.90284611,156.55047551,288.75944655,158.34583653,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[184.60069642,198.064954557,332.70868251,240.902367764,203.31027494,201.10933925],"p2":[0.21242026,0.30424051,0.23462954,0.235,0.599,0.55816334],"p3":[120.93371852,106.53871565,92.349152539,98.82267524,89.22617932,96.81205645],"p4":[77.18805082,55.26238726,48.059136159,21.98659196,30.65697126,21.34449617]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[88.79105311,92.11479018,242.52296085,111.9619952,null,null],"p2":[0.18566753,0.2060976,0.15099556,0.13975851,null,null],"p3":[34.24658594,36.57175741,29.0479299,27.88620197,null,null],"p4":[35.67953953,27.65783032,17.03756024,18.35788085,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2019 [projected]

[["Refugees",2279841],["Asylum-seekers",9184],["IDPs",2000000],["Returned IDPs",250000],["Returned refugees",200000],["Others of concern",501394]]
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Operational Environment

2019 will mark the 40th year since the start of large-scale displacement and today Afghans still remain the largest refugee population of concern to UNHCR in Asia and the Pacific. There are some 1.4 million Afghan refugees hosted by Pakistan and close to 1 million by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both countries also host large numbers of undocumented Afghans, some of whom may also need international protection.
In the past four decades, the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan have been generously hosting Afghans refugees and undocumented people. The Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) serves as an enabling multilateral platform for consensus-building, strengthening existing partnership and engaging new actors. Mobilizing resources and political support for Afghan refugees is increasingly challenged by other humanitarian crises around the world. The SSAR will seek to build on these global initiatives and expand partnerships to find solutions to Afghan displacement.
It is also expected that the international community will take advantage of the Global Compact on Refugees as a game-changer towards solutions for displacement and mixed flow of Afghans in the region.  To this effect, the Government of Afghanistan officially announced in July 2018 its decision to join and support the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) as a country of origin.
A Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, co-hosted by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United Nations, took place in Geneva on 28 November 2018. A side-event on People on the Move presented an opportunity to focus specifically on support for refugee hosting countries, sustainable reintegration of returnees and migration management in the region.
In 2019, Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue with their cooperation under the auspices of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).
Following the June 2018 elections in Pakistan, the new government has reaffirmed its commitment to solving refugees and immigrants’ issues in accordance with international humanitarian laws.
In Afghanistan, after the October 2018 parliamentary elections, the operational context will continue to be volatile in 2019 with possible security challenges related to the presidential elections planned on 20 April.
The economic impact of the sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran is likely to exacerbate the situation of vulnerable refugees, as well as local population.

Response and Implementation

  • UNHCR remains strongly committed to support the efforts of the Governments of the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan in providing protection and seeking solutions for Afghan refugees;
  • Enhanced support is also sought to help these governments to address mixed flows of Afghans, especially undocumented Afghans, in order to maintain credible protection space for refugees;
  • UNHCR is promoting the idea of strengthening the implementation of the SSAR by using tools and follow-up measures in the GCR, with the Refugee Forum scheduled at the end of 2019 as an important milestone.
  • UNHCR remains committed to exploring and expanding access to refugee enrolment into cross-border job placement programmes and increase in diversified livelihoods opportunities; as well as in demand-driven vocational and technical education programs with on the job training.
  • Further support to implementation of the inclusive refugee policies of the government of Iran, for refugees to access health-care, health insurance and education.

2019 Budget for South-West Asia | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Afghanistan 29,176,984071,184,20021,344,496121,705,680
Islamic Republic of Iran 98,916,70600098,916,706
Pakistan 73,015,649558,16325,627,856099,201,669
Total 201,109,339558,16396,812,05621,344,496319,824,055

2019 Voluntary Contributions to South-West Asia | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Canada 000949,848 949,848
Denmark 0003,720,079 3,720,079
European Union 0007,265,721 7,265,721
Germany 169,127789,61600 958,743
Japan 1,905,1422,247,000267,5000 4,419,642
Republic of Korea 0003,000,000 3,000,000
United States of America 0004,600,000 4,600,000
Afghanistan subtotal 2,074,2693,036,616267,50019,535,648 24,914,033
Islamic Republic of Iran
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 685,705000 685,705
Denmark 2,103,979000 2,103,979
European Union 3,824,064000 3,824,064
Japan 973,213000 973,213
Private donors in Canada 228000 228
Republic of Korea 2,000,000000 2,000,000
Russian Federation 100,000000 100,000
UNAIDS 00052,000 52,000
Islamic Republic of Iran subtotal 9,687,1890052,000 9,739,189
Canada 000379,939 379,939
Denmark 2,103,979000 2,103,979
European Union 910,125001,544,892 2,455,018
Japan 2,022,502000 2,022,502
Private donors in the Republic of Korea 1,843000 1,843
UNAIDS 30,000000 30,000
UNDP 81,3370017,979 99,316
United States of America 107,000003,700,000 3,807,000
Pakistan subtotal 5,256,787005,642,811 10,899,597
Total 17,018,2453,036,616267,50025,230,459 45,552,820