Best-selling author Khaled Hosseini has formed a special link with the UNHCR office in the United States, which he represented as a UNHCR Goodwill Envoy until 2013, when he was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. As a valued supporter of UNHCR, he has visited his native Afghanistan in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and Chad in 2007. He visited UNHCR operations in the two countries and helped to spread awareness about displacement issues there, including the situation for returnees. Hosseini also contributes to the annual World Refugee Day commemorations, other flagship events such as the Nansen Refugee Award, and global awareness and fund-raising campaigns.
During his 2007 trip to Afghanistan, Hosseini visited villages in the north and spoke to refugee returnees and saw the work of UNHCR in providing assistance. Inspired by what he had experienced, he set up The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to provide humanitarian assistance. Since then, his foundation has raised funds and constructed homes for thousands of returnees. The foundation also supports UNHCR projects which provide employment and education opportunities and health care for women and children. It awards scholarships to women pursuing higher education in Afghanistan or training to become doctors in their country.
As a Goodwill Ambassador, Hosseini serves as a public advocate for refugees, regularly using his access to the media to give voice to victims of humanitarian crises. He also continues to advocate and raise awareness of refugee issues and UNHCR's operations via his multiple online and social media platforms.
For the US book tour of his third novel, "And The Mountains Echoed," Hosseini made a film highlighting the work of his Foundation in partnership with UNHCR. At each stop, the film was screened and led to wider discussion of the refugee situation in Afghanistan and how people could help refugees and refugee returnees in Afghanistan. He has also spoken out on the need to help Syria's displaced.