About UNDP in Iran

 UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Gary Lewis (right), accompanied by former Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi at the launch of the 2013 HDI ceremony

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 46 years. UNDP is committed to helping Iran achieve the  global Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the objectives articulated in the new Country Programme signed between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and UNDP (2012-2016).

We work in the following areas: Inclusive Growth and Development, Health Development, Environment and Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Management.


What do We Want to Accomplish?

  One of the main focuses of UNDP in Iran is to ensure environmental protection and sustainable development

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) 2012-2016, which was prepared in close consultation with the Government of Iran, the UN focuses on five priority areas:

  1. Poverty Reduction
  2. Health
  3. Environmentally Sustainable Management
  4. Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
  5. Drug Prevention and Control

Similarly, UNDP's Country Programme 2012-2016 was drawn from the agreed outcome areas of the UNDAF, the Fifth National Develoment Plan and key priorities of the UNDP Strategic plan.

As a 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.

1- Inclusive Growth and Development:

  • Iran's Fifth National Development Plan specifically refers to the improvement of Human Development Index as a key national development priority for the next five years. 
  • Micro-finance initiatives are increasingly being utilized in development planning. UNDP joint initiatives such as the Small Grants Programme, the Carbon Sequestration Project have been used as 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 2,166 in 2012 - a 60% drop. The number of malaria cases in Iran is at its lowest level in 30 years.
  • The incidence rate of Tuberculosis (TB) in 2007 decreased by 41.6% compared to its level in 1990. TB mortality rates also decreased by 46.1% in 2007 compared to 1990.
  • Iran has stabilized the HIV prevalence rate among intravenous drug users, 14.3% of which are HIV positive. HIV prevalence rates in prisons fell from 3.4% in 2002 to 1.4% in 2009.
  • 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:

  • The Fifth National Development Plan has adopted a country-wide "ecosystem-based approach" to the management of wetlands and biodiversity.
  • 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).
  • The 2008 evaluation of the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah 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 migitation.

4- Disaster Risk Management:

  • Scaling up of safe schools, neighbourhoods and hospitals based on the two project pilot sites in the citiis 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.

Who are the Decision Makers?

As per well-established practice worldwide, in the Islamic Republic of Iran the Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gary Lewis, heads the UN system. In addition the incumbent also serves as the UNDP Resident Representative. UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Balasubramaniam Murali, assists in this function and is responsible for day to day operations of UNDP Iran.