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UNDP in Iran

About us

About UNDP in Iran

Since 1966, UNDP has been a committed partner of the Government of Iran in fulfilling its development objectives. UNDP has also been working closely with other development partners, such as civil society, academic institutions and the private sector, by providing technical assistance and knowledge for more than 50 years. UNDP is committed to helping Iran achieve the  global Sustainable Development Goals as well as the objectives articulated in the new UNDP Country Programme Document signed between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and UNDP (2017 - 2021).

We work in the following areas:

  1. Environmentally Sustainable Development
  2. Health and Development
  3. Resilient Economy

What do We Want to Accomplish?

Since opening an office in Iran, UNDP has been collaborating with the Government, civil society and people of Iran to help them find their own solutions to meet global, regional and national development challenges.

Based on the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2017 - 2021, which was prepared in close consultation with the Government of Iran, the UN focuses on four priority areas:

  1. Environment
  2. Health
  3. Resilient Economy
  4. Drug Control 

Similarly, UNDP's Country Programme Document 2017 - 2021 was drawn from the agreed outcome areas of the UNDAF, the country's 6th National Develoment Plan, the UNDP Strategic Plan 2014 - 2017 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As an upper-middle income country, Iran is well placed to play a leading role in exchanging knowledge and technical expertise through South-South cooperation, both in the region and globally. UNDP will continue to support Iran in these endeavors, drawing on its vast global knowledge network and established best practices.

What are Our Results?

UNDP Iran's current Country Programme builds on the successes of its previous programme of work, lessons learned and achievements made in partnership with the Government of Iran. Some highlights of past collaboration include leveraging capacity for strategic national planning, stemming the spread of diseases, developing models for achieving inclusive growth and development and environmental management.  Below achievements are linked to the previous UNDP Country Programme Document which started in 2012 and ended in 2016 and focused on the below four priority areas.

1 – Inclusive Growth and Development:

  • One of Iran’s key national development priorities mentioned in its Fifth National Development Plan was improvement of Human Development Index (HDI).  Between 1990 and 2014 Iran’s HDI value increased from 0.567 to 0.766.
  • UNDP joint initiatives such as the Small Grants Programme, the Carbon Sequestration Project have been used as success models and replicated by the government with the use of national funds.

2 – Health Development - Battling HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria:

  • The number of laboratory confirmed autochthonous malaria cases decreased from 11,923 in 2006 to 101 in 2016 - a 99% drop. The number of malaria cases in Iran is at its lowest level in 30 years.
  • The incidence rate of Tuberculosis (TB) in 2015 decreased by 50% compared to its level in 1990. TB mortality rates also decreased by 64% in 2015 compared to 1990.
  • According to the last statistics reported by Center for Communicable Diseases (CDC) (September 2016) total number of identified HIV positives have been 33,227 people (84% men and 16% women). The most important HIV transmission route in Iran is drug injection, followed by sexual contact. Out of the total number of cases recorded in the country since 1986, shared needles and syringes among People Who Inject Drugs (67.6%), sexual contact (18.6%), blood transfusion from blood products (0.7%) and mother-to-child transmission (1.5%) have been the most common transmission routes. The transmission route in 11.5% of the cases remains unknown. However, the route of transmission among identified people reported only in the first half of the year based on Iranian Calendar (March to September 2016) indicates a shift in the pattern of the transmission from drug injection (37%) to sexual contact (40%) and a rise of infection among women which has been 31% (and men 69%) in this reporting period.
  • The Harm Reduction interventions in prisons have been very effective leading to a drop to 60% in the percentage of persons infected with HIV through drug injection (in 2013) from more than 80% (in the early 90s). 
  • Advocacy and training activities have contributed to a rise in public awareness, resulting in the reduction of stigmatization on the issue of HIV/AIDS.
  • Bio-Behavioral Surveillance surveys, initiated by Global Fund's HIV project, now figure prominently in the HIV National Strategic Plan and are run biennially.

3 – Environment and Sustainable Development:

  • Conservation of Iranian Wetlands project in cooperation with national partners practiced "ecosystem-based approach" for management of wetlands and biodiversity and it has been included in both fifth and sixth national development plan.
  • Iran is an early achiever of the phase out milestones set by the Montreal Protocol (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer).
  • Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah project had significant effect in making Cheetah conservation as a national priority and evaluation of the project confirmed that Iran has saved this iconic species from extinction and provided a platform for upgrading of protected areas in seven out of ten Cheetah habitats.
  • The Carbon Sequestration project near Birjand has provided a participatory rangeland rehabilitation model, creating alternative jobs for the rural poor while making important contributions to climate change mitigation.
  • UNDP natural resources management projects had significant effects on embedding collaborative management, systematic analysis of value and sustainable use of natural resources at different managerial level in country.

4 – Disaster Risk Management:

  • Scaling up of safe schools, neighbourhoods and hospitals based on the two project pilot sites in the cities of Gorgan and Kerman.
  • Disaster risk management has been integrated nation-wide in all government offices.
  • Decision-making support tools are now in place, including a National Information Portal and a National Disaster Database.