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Refugees Resettlement Challenges and Impacts on Urban Future

Hamidreza Gholamzadeh



Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 3
Asian Mayors Forum
Equitable urban futures
NE 103


Based on UNHCR statistics in 2020, there are more than 79.5 million forcibly displaced people and more than 26 million refugees worldwide. It is noteworthy that 80 percent of this population comes from countries affected by terrorists or have acute food insecurity and malnutrition and 85 percent of them are hosted in developing countries. The Islamic Republic of Iran has long hosted one of the largest refugee populations in the world, most of whom are Afghan refugees. According to government statistics, 951,142 Afghan refugees and 28,268 Iraqi refugees live in Iran. In addition, an estimated 2 million undocumented Afghans and nearly 600,000 Afghan passport holders also live in Iran. Iran is host to one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world for the longest period of time and has been a refugee sanctuary for four decades. About five million Afghans have always been displaced abroad, 90 percent of which are hosted by the Islamic Republic Iran and Pakistan. In Iran, thanks to the government's progressive and inclusive policies, refugees have been given access to education, health, and livelihoods that not only help them survive but also help them progress. It is estimated that 96 percent of refugees in Iran live in urban and rural areas alongside the Iranian host community. The municipality of Tehran with an uninterrupted presence in the country's operational field ensures that all refugees registered in Iran have access to basic services. Tehran municipality has channelized its support in areas of education, health, employment and livelihoods, infrastructure, solutions and support capacities. It is worth noting that Iran is the middle country between the Afghan refugees and the European nations and it has become a corridor of immigration to the west. Therefore, Iran is seeking aspects to support refugees to have safe returning to their home countries and stay in the region as they are more culturally oriented and socially accepted within the region. But this action also requires access to fair and efficient asylum procedures and measures to ensure that their basic human rights are respected while obtaining a long-term solution. Therefore, special attention has to be paid to this urban phenomenon as it plays an important role in creating unity and cohesion in the future society. So, AMF is urging to organize this event that, countries and other stakeholders can make clear commitments and assistance in relation to the objectives for a better urban future. The event would be in the form of discussion and technical panels commenting on resettlement opportunities as well as sharing other measures taken by countries and other stakeholders to achieve tangible benefits for refugees and host communities. This event will be a platform to share good practices and experiences and learnings centered around priority topics. Accordingly, the role of cities, the most important indicators, and the best practices will be shared and discussed.


The event will be an opportunity for all members and other organizations to announce their specific experiences, comments, assistance, and commitments towards the phenomenon of forcibly displaced people. The main objectives might include: • Measures to reduce pressures on host countries, • Increasing refugee self-reliance, • Finding a solution for controlling the expanding corridor of access to European countries through Iran, • Supporting the improvement of the conditions of the origin countries for a safe and dignified return, • Reporting on actions and assistance in relation to the objectives of a better urban future equal for everyone, • Discussing the ways to seek international and technical support,

Session speakers

Mr. Hamidreza Gholamzade
Secretary General of the Asian Mayors Forum
Mr. Mehmet Duman
Secretary General
UCLG-MEWAof Tehran
Mr. Seyed Abdullah Arjaee Shirazi
Mayor of Mashhad
Mashhad Municipality
Mr. Ali Khalifeh
Mayor of Sarafand
Sarafand Municipality