The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Iran, H.E. Kim, Seung-Ho, visited one of the settlements under WFP assistance on 10 and 11 May 2017. The visit to Ansar settlement in Taft in the province of Yazd was organized to give an opportunity to the Ambassador to see first- hand how WFP utilized funds received from the RoK to provide food assistance and education support to vulnerable refugees. In 2016, RoK made an unprecedented contribution of 4 million dollars to WFP in Iran, becoming the largest donor to the Protracted Relief and Recovery Project PRRO 200310 for 30,000 Afghan and Iraqi refugees residing in 20 settlements all across Iran.
During the two day visit to the province, Ambassador Kim, Seung-Ho and accompanying delegation met with Yazd Governor General, Taft Governor and the Director General of Yazd Bureau for Alien and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) who is the counterpart and implementing partner for WFP.
In Ansar settlement, the Ambassador had a chance to visit refugee homes, talk to the refugees, visit the primary school and meet with the school principal and school girls who receive education incentive from WFP.
At the WFP warehouse, the ambassador handed over a symbolic pack of Pasta to a family of six, who were representing the refugee community.
The Ambassador also visited a milling factory in Yazd where wheat flour purchased with the contribution of RoK was bagged and delivered to all settlements under WFP assistance.
With the Rok contribution WFP has purchased to date 1162 mt cereals, 153 mt fortified vegetable oil, 69 mt sugar and 344 mt pulses and textured soya protein. Further 2,722 mt mixed commodities will be purchased with the remaining funds until end of 2017.
The Ambassador, during a dinner hosted by the Governor General of Yazd province, praised the generosity of Iranian government and people for hosting refugees for many years and said: " Yazd is the city of history, wisdom and spirituality, since it is one of the most ancient city and wise enough to catch wind, and most of all tolerant enough, sympathetic enough to receive refugees in a large number.
The generosity and hospitality of taking care of refugees will be paid back and rewarded. Because you must invest in people if you want prepare next 100 years. And among refugees taken care of in Yazd, someone will grow into a big figure to contribute Iranian development, just like the new Korean President Moon as he used to be a refugee 60 years ago."
WFP Representative in Iran, Negar Gerami, also expressed her deep appreciation for the ROK contribution saying: The earmarking of such a generous contribution to our project in Iran at a time of many competing priorities is extremely valuable to us. We are humbled by the generosity and hope the People and Government of Republic of Korea will continue to support WFP in 2018 and beyond.