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UNHCR staff unload boxes of emergency supplies from a truck in a refugee camp.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency


When people have been forced from their homes by conflict or persecution, UNHCR is there to save lives.

Donate today to help protect people forced to flee.
Are you a refugee, asylum-seeker or stateless person looking for help? 
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In emergencies, UNHCR is there for people forced to flee.

No one plans to become a refugee. However, currently 117.3 million people are displaced worldwide, forced to flee to escape conflict, persecution, or other humanitarian crises.

Often they must flee with little more than the clothes they are wearing and the few belongings they can carry in their arms.

For over 70 years, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been there to keep them safe. 

Today, we work in 136 countries and assist millions of people in emergency situations every year, including refugees, internally displaced and stateless people.

When a crisis unfolds, we rush life-saving supplies, humanitarian experts and funds to the emergency. We strive to protect people from harm and ensure they can reach safety.

We are there throughout the initial crisis and we stay long after the headlines have moved on.

But we cannot do this alone. Your support is crucial to providing life-saving assistance to refugees.

Donate to help refugees

Donate now

What does UNHCR do in emergencies? 

An icon of supplies attached to a parachute
Deliver life-saving supplies
An icon of three people
Deploy crisis response experts to keep people safe
An icon of a shield
Ensure people can reach safety
  • Deliver life-saving supplies: Within 72 hours, UNHCR can organize the delivery of life-saving supplies from our global stockpiles, ready in warehouses around the world, to where people need them most. We also transfer funds from our emergency reserves directly to our local teams so they can set up shelters, buy food and register people who need our help.
  • Deploy crisis response experts: We immediately mobilize our humanitarian response staff, who are trained in managing crisis situations and specialize in key areas like shelter, health care, water and sanitation, and tackling sexual exploitation. They drop everything to respond and can be on the ground within 72 hours. Many keep their bags constantly packed.
  • Ensure people can reach safety: We strive to protect people forced to flee from harm and ensure they can reach safe areas. Our teams may be out around the clock to ensure refugees are not pushed back to where their lives would be in danger. We work to ensure they have a safe place to sleep, protected from the elements and far from those trying to harm them.

Our response goes beyond meeting basic needs. From the outset of an emergency, we collaborate with partners, governments, and local communities to provide long-term assistance. We strive to help people forcibly displaced from their homes access healthcare, education and employment opportunities.


Learn more about how UNHCR responds to emergencies


Adult refugees carrying children in their arms. Text on the image reads "When an emergency hits"

"I have everything I need. I'm warm, I have somewhere to sleep, something to eat."

Valentina, Ukrainian refugee

Valentina, 83, fled the conflict in Ukraine with her daughter and grandchild. 

"The city was being attacked all the time. A few days after we left, a rocket fell at the train station, killing 60 people," says Valentina. 

UNHCR and partners provided Valentina's family with cash assistance, allowing them to purchase items they needed locally. 

More ways you can help refugees

Join a UNHCR campaign to advocate with and for people forced to flee. 
Follow us on social media to stay informed and amplify refugee voices.

Support refugee artisans by purchasing handmade products from MADE51.