Iran (Islamic Republic of)

| Photo: Public Relations Department of Masih Daneshvari Hospital

The United Nations in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran joined the United Nations in 1945  as one of the original 50 founding members. Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an active member of the UN. The UN has actively partnered with Iran since 1950, opening in Tehran in 1950, one of the very first UN Information Centres worldwide. The UNICEF office opened the following year. Other agencies soon followed.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a middle-income country. The Islamic Republic of Iran ranks highly on the human development index, significantly increasing over the last three decades. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the 6th largest refugee-hosting country globally and allows refugees access to primary health care services and education free-of-charge, the same as for Iranians.

UN entities: In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United Nations is represented by 20 resident and non-resident agencies, funds and specialized programmes, which carry out  activities according to their respective roles and functions. There are approximately 450 staff members in the UN system in Iran (90 per cent of whom are Iranian citizens) and they work in duty stations in different parts of the I.R. of Iran with most based in Tehran.

What we do: The United Nations in Iran focuses on development and humanitarian assistance as mutually agreed upon with the Government. Refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq are a main beneficiary of the UN’s humanitarian response, while support for the environment, the health care, resilient economy, and drug control is addressed through UN development programmes.

The UN Country Team is working closely with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other national partners to mitigate the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the resulting economic downturn on the people of Iran, particularly on the most vulnerable, at this particular time, to ensure that no one is left behind.

The Government’s socio-economic initiatives already provide relief and support to vulnerable households and small businesses and the UN in Iran is currently reinforcing and scaling up programmes to sustain recovery efforts. Apart from immediate relief for the most vulnerable in COVID-19- affected families, UN in Iran focuses on empowering local capacity as well as generating livelihood opportunities.

“Globally, we can see that poverty is on the rise for the first time in decades. The only way for us to get through this crisis and come out stronger on the other side, is by working together. The UN in Iran will partner with our extremely generous donors, to be able to support and contribute to the Government’s efforts. We focus on inclusive, resilient and sustainable solutions and work hard leaving no one behind,” said Ms Ugochi Daniels, the UN Resident Coordinator in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

How we do it: The United Nations offices in Iran work in partnership with the Government to respond to national development priorities and emerging needs. We have agreed on programmes of cooperation with the Government according to UN entities development and humanitarian mandates. Some of these programmes are partly-funded by the Government.  We work not only with the Government, but also with partners in the non-governmental sector under projects and programmes agreed with the Government.

The UN in Iran focuses primarily on development work and humanitarian assistance. The UN System is a partner in Iran’s development process, as articulated in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2017-2021.

The UNDAF’s main purpose is to provide a strategic framework for cooperation and a broad guide to facilitate coordinated planning and implementation of UN work in partnership with the Government. It focuses on the specific achievements within mutually agreed outcomes under four pillars: environment, health, resilient economy and drug control.

To learn more visit:

Data about the work of the UN Country Team on COVID-19 is available on their Country Dashboard

UN Country Team

Resident Coordinator Office

Christina Hajdu

RCO Team Leader/Main Office Contact

UN Entities in the Country


Loretta Hieber Girardet

Chief of the UNISDR Regional Office of Asia and Pacific

Mohammad Ali Alnsour

Chief, Middle East and North Africa Section
UN Mission

Hideo Ikebe

Head of UNAMA Liaison Office in Tehran

Xu Jing

Director of Regional Programme for Asia & the Pacific

UN Key Documents

UNDAF/United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (CP)

UNDAF/CF Start Date
Start of new CF cycle