InterWorks facilitated an Emergency Response Workshop on Refugee Protection in Tehran, Iran from 20-24 April 2014. The event was co-sponsored by the UNHCR Branch Office in Tehran and the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) of the Islamic Republic of Iran to focus on the primary protection issues and technical sectors involved in a refugee emergency response. The course was designed for both generalists and specialists working or intending to work at the field level in humanitarian operations and was designed to provide participants with the opportunity to share their experiences and insights — drawing upon expertise within the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as other international experiences.
The event was highly interactive with significant sharing of experiences among the UNHCR, BAFIA, and other colleagues. Specific objectives of the Emergency Response Workshop on Refugee Protection included:
- To facilitate knowledge sharing among different organizations/individuals on the concept of refugee emergency response;
- To facilitate inter-agency/inter-organization experience sharing;
- To strengthen inter-agency/inter-organization coordination for future emergency response, encouraging the identification of relevant focal points for future contingency planning and related preparedness work; and,
- To facilitate the sharing of experience and information of the workshop in the form of a post-workshop publication.
Primary topics included Refugee Protection in Emergencies, Shelter and Site Planning, Nutrition and Food, Water Supply and Sanitation, Health, Education, Registration and Distribution, and Coordination of Emergency Responses in the Field. The workshop also emphasized the interdependent nature of all of these areas, and the overarching importance of coordination and protection in emergencies.
It was excellent to see so much emphasis placed on international standards and the real needs of refugees.– Workshop participant