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Iranian Refugees' Alliance Inc. (IRA Inc.) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
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Humanitarian Assistance

(July 2019)

"When the refugee has to stand around food bazaars until dark to collect rotten fruits and vegetables, just to combat hunger; when her/his mind is always preoccupied with rent, water and electricity bills, clothing and food; when s/he has to split six eggs and four potatoes for three meals; how can one expect such an overburdened and vulnerable refugee to become active in affecting her/his fate or the fate of the community. "
from Sulayman, Turkey

" For a long time our only hope was to find a job and look forward for the help of a few friends. But then came a message of hope from the other side of the world. A message from the big hearts of kind and concerned people. ... Ah, I can't explain the light that this hope has brought to our dark nights. I can't explain the energy it has given us... Oh, my god, I didn't know that we had so many friends, feeling so lonely here! I wish you could see my tears of joy. I thank you dearly for remembering us and for your understanding. My little son is thankful too."
from a mother refugee, Turkey

In the past three decades Turkey has remained an important destination country for Iranian asylum seekers. Over the last decade (2008-2017), it has been the second most important destination country for Iranian asylum seekers, with an average of 6,000 persons per year.

Because Turkey does not recognize non-Europeans as refugees, resettlement in a third country is the only option available to Iranian refugees who flee to Turkey . Turkish law requires Iranian asylum seekers to apply for "temporary asylum" immediately after their arrival. They are then given a certain period of time to seek resettlement in a third country with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). To be resettled, a refugee must first be recognized by UNHCR. Delays can be long. During this time they have no access to work or social assistance. They are required to pay a high administrative fee to obtain a temporary resident permit, or ikamet. While UNHCR used to provide financial stipends to those it recognized as refugees, in recent years even recognized refugees receive very limited or no financial assistance at all from the UNHCR due to the agency's budget constraints. In UNHCR's own words:

"Despite nascent charity efforts, many people of concern to UNHCR live on the brink of destitution." (Turkey, Country Operations Profile)

Financial assistance not only is a humanitarian act, but it also enables refugees to pursue their casework more efficiently and expedites their resettlement.

IRA-INC has established two funds to try to meet some of the dire needs of Iranian asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey. From 1993 to 2018 a total of $731,127 has been distributed to more than 1,900 families.