© UNHCR/B. Diab

Who we are

Assisting refugees and displaced families every step of the way

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is committed to protecting people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We are in the field in over 130 countries, saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people around the world. Our staff is on the ground, putting people first and delivering results.

Responding with life-saving support

In emergencies, refugees are often forced to leave all their personal belongings behind and urgently need basic supplies to survive. UNHCR delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food, and water in even the most remote, hard-to-reach areas. Providing shelter on a global scale is a massive logistical undertaking. Every year, UNHCR purchases thousands of tents and millions of tarpaulins, which have come to symbolize the response to humanitarian emergencies. Preparing for an emergency involves risk monitoring, planning for different scenarios, and establishing how to deliver assistance and protection. During times of crisis, UNHCR uses this knowledge to co-lead the response with other UN agencies, under the overall leadership of the host government.

Safeguarding fundamental human rights

We work to effectively and quickly protect and assist people in need, partnering with communities, governments, UN agencies, NGOs and others in order to ensure refugees receive the assistance they need. People forced to flee are often stripped of their basic rights. We focus on safeguarding their rights by ensuring safety, documentation and access to education and skills. We work to ensure the stateless achieve their right to a nationality.

Building better futures

People forced to flee need a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR helps families and individuals return home when it is safe to do so, or enable them to settle and make a positive contribution in a new community.