UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home. Since 1950, we have faced multiple crises on multiple continents, and provided vital assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people, many of whom have nobody left to turn to.
We help to save lives and build better futures for millions forced from home.
COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic, endangers everyone on the planet – including refugees and other people displaced by conflict or persecution.
Over 80 per cent of the world’s refugees and nearly all the world’s internally displaced people are hosted in low- and middle-income countries. They frequently face specific challenges and vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration in COVID-19 readiness and response operations. Keeping the most vulnerable safe means keeping everyone safe.
UNHCR is stepping up health, water, sanitation and hygiene services to protect refugees and displaced people. We are working with governments, which lead the coronavirus response, to ensure that people forced to flee are included in preparation and response plans. Read the latest updates here.
1 million Rohingya refugees have been fleeing violence in Myanmar at a staggering rate. The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar. The latest exodus began on 25 August 2017, when violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. They’ve walked for days through jungles and mountains, or braved dangerous sea voyages across the Bay of Bengal. They are exhausted, hungry and sick – in need of international protection and humanitarian assistance. The vast majority are women and children, including newborn babies born en route. Many others are elderly requiring additional aid and protection.
Today, Rohingya refugees face the double threat of COVID-19 and heavy rains. With the first confirmed cases of coronavirus among the refugee population and the monsoon season bringing heavy rainfall and flooding in Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees are facing emergency on top of emergency today.
With your support, UNHCR can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while also ensuring that critical activities continue, including health, nutrition, hygiene promotion, construction of health facilities and WASH infrastructures as well as key distributions such as food, LPG and hygiene kits.
Yemen is gripped by the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Millions of lives are at risk.
After five years of conflict, over 24 million people in Yemen are in need of urgent aid and more than 3.6 million have been uprooted from their homes. With only half of the country’s health facilities operational and given the already precarious situation across Yemen and the dire living and sanitary conditions, the forcibly displaced are at an extremely heightened risk.
UNHCR is on the ground providing humanitarian relief and protection across Yemen to hundreds of thousands of displaced people. We are delivering cash and emergency supplies, providing families with shelter and keeping them safe from harm. But the needs are rising and your support is urgently needed to help save lives.
You can help families to meet their most urgent needs, including food, shelter and medicine, while in displacement. They already face abject poverty and hardship, and urgent funding is needed in the coming weeks to keep the life-saving aid programmes running.
In its tenth year of conflict, the Syrian Crisis has claimed many lives and left 13.5 million people inside Syria in need, including 6.3 million internally displaced people and over 5.5 million refugees seeking safety in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and beyond. UNHCR leads the regional response to offer a lifeline to those in need. Turkey alone hosts nearly 3 million Syrian refugees.
In Lebanon and Jordan, at least 70% of Syrian refugees live well beneath the poverty line, often hosted by local communities. We provide life-saving humanitarian aid, mostly through cash assistance giving refugees dignity and control to meet their own needs while also infusing cash into the burdened local economies.
South Sudan Emergency
Since December 2013, brutal conflict in South Sudan has claimed thousands of lives and driven nearly four million people from their homes. More than two million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries; Uganda is generously hosting over one million refugees, but resources and capacity are being stretched thin. The majority of refugees are women and children, arriving weak and malnourished, sometimes separated from family members and witnesses to unthinkable violence and loss. UNHCR is across the region providing emergency assistance and protection, supporting refugees and host communities alike, leading the humanitarian response.
Central African Republic Emergency
Brutal violence and political instability in the Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in order to find safety. Today over 542,000 CAR refugees have been forced to flee to Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, and the Republic of the Congo, and some 600,000 people are still internally displaced inside CAR.
The number of people forced to flee to neighbouring countries or within CAR is at its highest ever since the start of the crisis in 2013. One of the largest refugee crises in Africa and yet it is one of the most poorly funded emergencies across the world – funded only at 9% – with most lacking even basic survival assistance.