EghtesadOnline: In the past five days, less than 9,000 foreign nationals have entered Iran and about 5,000 left the country from Iran’s three border crossings with Afghanistan, namely Mahiroud, Milak and Dogharoun, Rouhollah Latifi, spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, said on Nov. 15.
Latifi explained that about 70 Afghan nationals cross Mahiroud border into Iran and about 30 leave each day.
In total, about 400 people have entered and less than 200 people have left the Mahiroud border in the last five days, the news portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture reported.
About 1,100 Afghan nationals crossed Milak into the country while 700 Afghan nationals exited during the period under review.
“There is more traffic at the Dogharoun border. In the last five days, about 7,000 people have entered and 4,000 people have left the crossing,” he was also quoted as saying.
His report came after the Norwegian Refugee Council called for more funding and responsibility sharing, as “4,000 to 5,000 Afghans flee [illegally] across the border to Iran daily”.
“Thousands of exhausted women, children and men are crossing from Afghanistan into Iran every day in search of safety. Iran cannot be expected to host so many Afghans with so little support from the international community. There must be an immediate scale-up of aid both inside Afghanistan and in neighboring countries like Iran, before the deadly winter cold,” said the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Secretary-General Jan Egeland on a visit to Iran this week.
The United Nations refugee agency’s appeal to support Afghans fleeing to neighboring countries calls for nearly $300 million to help up to 515,000 people that may flee before the end of the year. The appeal is only 32% funded so far. About $136 million of the total appeal funding are needed to support Afghans in Iran.
“We commend Iran for welcoming and hosting millions of displaced Afghans in the past four decades. But now the international community must step up to support Afghanistan’s neighbors and share the responsibility to help them continue welcoming refugees. Afghans represent one of the world’s largest refugee caseloads. Now return conditions are set to become ever more elusive,” Egeland said.
While a large number of Afghan refugees are not moving toward Europe yet, all rich nations should both ramp up aid and keep their borders open to those fleeing conflict and persecution. European nations, including Poland, must stop deporting Afghan asylum-seekers and review all failed applications in light of the crisis, NRC wrote on its website.
Iran’s Interior Ministry has warned the international community that if the economic problems of Afghanistan are not solved, the world will see another wave of migrants.
Ahmad Wahidi, Iran's interior minister, said the freezing of Afghan assets and the lack of humanitarian aid are the main reason for triggering a new wave of migrants.
“If these migrants don’t stay in Iran, where will they go?” he said. “They will go to the borders. We have returned some people from the border with Turkey.”
“After the change of the [Taliban] government, we are seeing another wave of migrants who seek to cross the border via an illegal way and reach Iran,” said Asifa Stanikzai, an Afghan refugee activist, as reported by TOLOnews.