The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly.


UNHCR is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.

It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally, or resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless persons.

In more than five decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives.

UNHCR in Ghana

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works closely with the Ghana Refugee Board to coordinate all activities relating to the management and care of refugees and asylum seekers in Ghana.

As of January 2024, Ghana is host to about 10, 690 registered refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Burkina Faso, Togo, Liberia, and Sudan. The statistics do not fully capture the approximately 11,676 Burkinabe asylum seekers yet to be registered.

The refugees and asylum seekers are generally located in four areas: North (Burkinabe), West (camp-based), Urban (Accra and environs), and Volta (Togolese).

The current focus of the Ghana operation is to respond to the Burkinabe arrivals in the North. UNHCR has supported the government in setting up reception and settlement centers in Tarikom, Upper East Region, and Zini, Upper West Region.  Asylum seekers who relocate to these locations receive shelter and wet feeding.  UNHCR also provides core relief items. UNHCR conducts regular protection activities in these locations and supports the integration of the asylum seekers into government essential services, inter alia, education, health, social services, etc. 

The security situation in the country is generally stable. However, pockets of chieftaincy disputes sometimes result in violence. The most notable conflict is in Bawku, which is on the Northeast side of Ghana and where some asylum seekers have arrived.