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Build better futures

What we do

Build better futures

UNHCR helps people who cannot return home due to conflict and persecution rebuild their lives through access to education and work while also helping find long-term solutions.
A Somali woman holding a baby is greeted by UNHCR staff as she exits a plane after being evacuated from Libya to Italy.

Helping displaced people rebuild their lives and finding long-term solutions 

Once someone becomes a refugee, they are often displaced for a long time, unable to return home due to fear of persecution or harm. 

This can last years, if not decades or even generations. What is supposed to be a temporary situation becomes a permanent one, leaving many people and their families in legal and economic limbo, with no viable options to belong to a new community or return home in safety and dignity.

UNHCR helps them to rebuild their lives through access to education and work. This also helps displaced people to regain a sense of purpose and become part of and contribute to the communities where they live. 

At the same time, we work with governments and the international community to find long-term solutions so refugees can find a place to call home, this can include support to integrate into the country where they have sought refuge, repatriation to their home country (when safe to do so), or resettlement in a third country. 

A girl smiles as she leans on her open notebook, in her classroom at a school in Colombia.

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When children and young people are forced to flee, they can miss out on years of schooling. UNHCR works with governments and partners to help them access quality education and training. With almost half of the world’s refugees under 18 years, this is critical to prevent millions of children from falling behind their peers.

School also offers a stable and safe environment for children who have been through the traumatic experience of displacement and can help protect them from forced recruitment into armed groups or child labour.

Learn more about Education

A refugee man holding fresh baked bread smiles for the camera, in the DR Congo.

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UNHCR works to help people forced to flee earn a living so they can be self-reliant. Through safe work, refugees can provide for their families’ basic needs, maintain their dignity and contribute to society, which is what they want.

We work with governments to advocate for refugees’ right to work in host countries, and help refugees develop skills and find employment opportunities, such as running a small farm, opening their own business, or as an employee in a local business or company.

Learn more about Livelihoods

Sweden. Resettlement provides lifeline for Syrian family

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Long-term solutions

Since UNHCR’s creation in the aftermath of the Second World War, seeking long-term solutions for refugees has been central to our mandate. 

A solution marks the end of the refugee and displacement situation. It is when an individual is able to safely return to their home or they are granted a new nationality. With a permanent home, they and their family can finally leave uncertainty behind and begin to rebuild their lives in peace, dignity and with renewed hope for the future.

UNHCR works with governments and the international community to find long-term solutions and supports refugees to make the transition. This can include voluntary repatriation back to their home country, when safe to do so, integration within the current host country, or resettlement in a third country.

Learn more about Long-term solutions


Please consider donating today

Your gift can help protect someone forced to flee their home due to conflict or persecution.