When people have been forced from their homes by conflict, persecution, or other humanitarian crises, UNHCR is there to save lives. Whether people flee to seek safety within their own country or cross an international border, we stand ready to help.
For over 70 years, UNHCR has responded to crises all over the world.
Today, we work in more than 130 countries to provide protection and vital assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people.
Supported by UNHCR's Policy on Emergency Preparedness and Response, we can urgently launch an emergency response to save lives anywhere in the world.
What does UNHCR do in emergencies?
We assist millions of people in emergency situations every year. We continually analyse the risk of emergencies globally so that we're prepared to respond quickly and effectively. When an emergency breaks:
- We deliver life-saving relief items and other critical goods from our global stockpiles, ready in warehouses in strategic locations around the world;
- We deploy emergency response experts, who are trained in crisis situations and specialize in key areas like cash assistance, shelter, and tackling sexual exploitation;
- We transfer funds from our emergency reserves directly to our local teams on the ground, so they can set up shelters, buy food and register people who need our help.
Our response does not stop at ensuring people's basic needs. From the outset of emergencies, we also work with partners, authorities and local communities to provide emergency support as well as long-term assistance such as access to education and work.
The UNHCR Emergency Handbook is a UNHCR guide to agile, effective and community-based humanitarian emergency responses.
Keeping supplies stocked, staff trained and funds available are central to our ability to save lives.
Keeping supplies stocked
Meet Silva Alkebeh, Chief of Supply Logistics for UNHCR, who oversees the provision of core relief items such as blankets, kitchen sets or sleeping mats to assist those forced to flee.
Ensuring the safety of operations
Meet Giovanni Davila, Security Officer for UNHCR, who ensures that staff have access to safe transport, communication and medical support while operating in challenging environments.