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
  • 2020

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion South-West Asia

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2018 {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"budget":[360.170297977,473.351600748,361.946634964,323.79242552,319.82405521,315.44435452],"expenditure":[156.55047551,288.75944655,158.34583653,126.61838953,null,null]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[198.064954557,332.70868251,240.902367764,203.31027494,201.04163225,193.8785154],"p2":[0.30424051,0.23462954,0.235,0.599,0.55816334,0.58],"p3":[106.53871565,92.349152539,98.82267524,89.22617932,96.87976345,94.1665058],"p4":[55.26238726,48.059136159,21.98659196,30.65697126,21.34449617,26.81933332]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[92.11479018,242.52296085,111.9619952,71.34104447,null,null],"p2":[0.2060976,0.15099556,0.13975851,0.11294748,null,null],"p3":[36.57175741,29.0479299,27.88620197,33.67393502,null,null],"p4":[27.65783032,17.03756024,18.35788085,21.49046256,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2020 [projected]

[["Refugees",2435070],["Asylum-seekers",9183],["IDPs",2000000],["Returned IDPs",250000],["Returned refugees",200000],["Others of concern",134516]]
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Working environment and response in 2020

The large-scale displacement of Afghans is now entering its fifth decade, with some 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.
The Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) remains the key framework between the three countries and UNHCR, enabling consensus building and strengthening partnership.
The sub-regional and internal political and security dynamics will continue to shape UNHCR’s complex operational environment in South-West Asia. UNHCR’s ability to facilitate voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan, and to preserve and enhance protection space in Pakistan, will largely depend on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, including the outcomes of the 2019 presidential elections, the peace talks with Taliban, potential drawdown of the US and NATO forces, and the intra-Afghan dialogue and reconciliation process.
These complex transitions and the limitations of the Government of Afghanistan to fulfil its commitments to sustainable reintegration of returnees in a highly volatile security environment, may affect the decision of refugees to return and impact the population movements.
While contingency measures are valid for up to 100,000 refugee returns to Afghanistan, the planning assumption for 2020 is based on a return of 60,000 Afghan refugees from both the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan.
Iran may witness further economic decline, under the current international climate, leading to increased needs within large segments of the Iranian society, including large numbers of refugees and other people of concern to UNHCR.

In Afghanistan, in addition to the voluntary repatriation cash grant of USD 200 per refugee returning, UNHCR is developing short to medium-term community-based projects in some 15 priority areas of return and reintegration (PARR). These PARRs have been designated in line with the  Government’s priorities and are linked to longer-term development programmes, as committed under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Iran, which jointly with Pakistan, hosts one of the largest and most protracted refugee populations in the world, gave asylum to 951,142 Afghan refugees and 28,268 Iraqi refugees, in addition to about 400 Kurd and Rohingya households. 97% of the refugees in Iran live in urban and rural areas while the remaining 3% reside in 21 settlements managed by BAFIA. In 2020 UNHCR aims to support the Government to continue to provide more sustainable access to quality national services in particular health and education, greater opportunities for self-reliance including through financial and economic inclusion, enhanced access to social safety nets for vulnerable refugees and enhanced harm prevention and response mechanism, while seeking durable solutions. Socio-political situation in the region is volatile, coupled by economic decline, therefore, may have an impact for implementation of objectives.
The Government of Pakistan took a very positive step in allowing refugees to open their bank accounts, which will greatly facilitate their temporary stay and business, pending their return. The Prime Minister’s participation as a co-convener at the Global Refugee Forum will be an important occasion to show case good practices – notably with the Refugees Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) initiative, now in its tenth year, with 4,200 RAHA projects having reached 12 million people for an investment of approximately USD 220 million.

2020 Budget for South-West Asia | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Afghanistan 22,923,827067,377,44726,819,333117,120,608
Islamic Republic of Iran 98,662,02500098,662,025
Pakistan 72,292,663580,00026,789,059099,661,722
Total 193,878,515580,00094,166,50626,819,333315,444,355

2020 Voluntary Contributions to South-West Asia | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
South-West Asia overall
United States of America 0003,900,000 3,900,000
South-West Asia overall subtotal 0003,900,000 3,900,000
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 0094,2225,778 100,000
Denmark 0003,592,991 3,592,991
European Union 0007,265,721 7,265,721
Japan 0001,576,363 1,576,363
Republic of Korea 000100,000 100,000
Switzerland 000511,771 511,771
United States of America 500,000004,600,000 5,100,000
Afghanistan subtotal 500,000094,22217,652,624 18,246,846
Islamic Republic of Iran
Denmark 2,032,101000 2,032,101
European Union 6,023,050000 6,023,050
Japan 909,090000 909,090
Republic of Korea 2,000,000000 2,000,000
UNAIDS 44,300000 44,300
Islamic Republic of Iran subtotal 11,008,542000 11,008,542
Denmark 2,032,101000 2,032,101
European Union 2,013,389185,59701,912,031 4,111,018
Japan 200,548926,63500 1,127,183
Private donors in the Republic of Korea 1,145000 1,145
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 200,000000 200,000
Switzerland 000511,771 511,771
UNAIDS 00031,000 31,000
UNDP 68,805000 68,805
United States of America 94,909004,000,000 4,094,909
Pakistan subtotal 4,610,8981,112,23206,454,802 12,177,932
Total 16,119,4401,112,23294,22228,007,426 45,333,320
Latest contributions
  • 31-MAR-2020
    South Africa
  • Malaysia

    private donors

  • Philippines

    private donors

  • Thailand

    private donors

  • Canada

    private donors

  • Republic of Korea

    private donors

  • Italy

    private donors

  • 30-MAR-2020

    private donors

  • 25-MAR-2020
    United States of America

    private donors

  • 24-MAR-2020

    private donors

  • 20-MAR-2020
  • Australia
  • 19-MAR-2020
  • 17-MAR-2020
  • 15-MAR-2020

    private donors

  • 13-MAR-2020
    United States of America
  • Japan
  • 12-MAR-2020

    private donors

  • Italy

    private donors

  • 10-MAR-2020