© UNHCR/Shawn Baldwin

What we do

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is committed to protecting people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. The global organization safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees, asylum-seekers and of people displaced within their own county. It also has a mandate to support stateless people. Globally, UNHCR has more than 16,700 personnel and works in 138 countries.

UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find refuge in another country, and to return home voluntarily. By assisting refugees to return to their own country or to settle permanently in another country, the organization also seeks lasting solutions to their light.

The UN Refugee Agency was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War. UNHCR’s efforts are mandated by its Statute and guided by the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. To date , 148 States are parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and/or to its 1967 Protocol.

UNHCR has been working in Egypt since 1954 after the Government of Egypt and UNHCR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Within the framework of this MOU, UNHCR provides protection services including all aspects of registration, documentation, refugee status determination and resettlement to persons of concern. For more than six decades, the office provided assistance to stateless individuals from Armenian and European origins, followed by large influxes of African, Iraqi and Syrian refugees in subsequent decades.

In Egypt, we currently focus our work on the following areas:

  1. Ensuring that asylum-seekers are able to apply for and gain access to protection;
  2. Supporting the access of refugees to health and education services, and ensuring that vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers can meet their basic needs;
  3. Raising awareness of the plight of refugees, advocating for their rights, and coordinating efforts to support them.