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For more than five decades UNHCR has been helping the world’s uprooted peoples.

The agency’s first task was to help an estimated one million, mainly European civilians, who remained displaced in the aftermath of World War Two.

But during the 1950s the refugee crisis spread to Africa, later to Asia and then back to Europe becoming a global problem.

At its height in the mid-1990s UNHCR was helping more than 27 million people in a single year and during its lifetime the agency has assisted an estimated 50 million refugees to successfully restart their lives.

This is a pictorial history of those turbulent years, UNHCR’s role and the struggle for survival of one of the world’s most vulnerable groups of people.