Double anniversary: 70 years of UNHCR founding and 25 years of its presence in Ukraine in 25 photos

Marking its 70/25 anniversary, UNHCR acknowledges that while its longevity is nothing to celebrate, the courage and contributions of the world’s millions of refugees deserve everyone’s respect.

New Rohingya arrivals from Myanmar take shelter in the UNHCR Transit Centre in Kutupalong camp. Many new arrivals say they fled Myanmar due to movement restrictions, violence, threats of violence and fear of disappearance. © UNHCR/Roger Arnold/2017

The UNHCR was organized in the aftermath of World War II. It was set up as a temporary agency to help about a million people displaced by the conflict in Europe. The agency was supposed to have completed its work within three years and then gone out of business. But, seven decades later, the UNHCR is still assisting millions of refugees and internally displaced people.

We collected 25 the most impressive photos of UNHCR’s work globally and particulary in Ukraine. We are grateful to all photographers who contributed to the huge photobank, sometimes even risking their lifes.

Miskito Indians from Nicaragua wait for a food distribution at a Honduran camp during the 1980s. © UNHCR/N. Goldschmidt/1982

Miskito Indians from Nicaragua wait for a food distribution at a Honduran camp during the 1980s. © UNHCR/N. Goldschmidt/1982

The exodus of more than 6 million Afghans started in 1979. People fled to such sites as the Ghazi Refugee Village in Pakistan. © UNHCR/H. Gloaguen/1984

The exodus of more than 6 million Afghans started in 1979. People fled to such sites as the Ghazi Refugee Village in Pakistan. © UNHCR/H. Gloaguen/1984

“Crimean Tatar National School”. First restored school in Oktyabrskoe for Crimean Tatar returnees, north of Simferopol. © UNHCR/B.Nahajlo/1996

Crimean Tatar refugees from Tajikistan, near Simferopol. © UNHCR/B.Nahajlo/1996

A man receiving legal assistance at the NGO “Assistance” office in Crimea. © UNHCR/D.Zhuravliov/2005

Crimean Tatar activist Mustafa Dzhemilev was awarded the Nansen Medal for 1998, for his commitment to the right of return of the Crimean Tatar people. Palais des Nations, Geneva. © UNHCR/A. Hollmann/1998

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs Sadako Ogata, presented the Nansen medal to the Crimean Tatar activist Mustafa Dzhemilev, 55, for his commitment to the right of return of the Crimean Tatar people. © UNHCR/Anneliese Hollmann/1998

A young Ukrainian girl hugs High Commissioner Filippo Grandi during a visit to a restored kindergarten in Luhansk, Ukraine. The building was recently repaired after being shelled in 2014. © UNHCR/Alina Cherkashina/2017

UNHCR High Profile Supporter Helena Christensen visits a Community centre for internaly displaced persons in Irpin, Kyiv oblast. © UNHCR/Hector Perez/2017

Communication and Supply team in Ukraine is taking on the humanitarian Tetris Challenge to display the tools, resources, and equipment they use to serve those forcibly displaced around the world. Different teams showed the materials necessary to do their jobs. © UNHCR/Sviatoslav Varennia/2019

Hosted by UNHCR Ukraine, Clowns Without Borders brought smiles to the faces of internally displaced and refugee children of all ages in east Ukraine. © UNHCR/2018

Two women approach a checkpoint and a sign warning of landmines in the village of Hnutove in war-torn Donetsk, east Ukraine. Here, the de facto border has separated families and disrupted the lives of people simply going to work, buying food, visiting relatives, checking on homes in the conflict zone and accessing medical services. © UNHCR/Tania Bulakh/2015

The delegation of the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine headed by Takashi Kurai, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Japan in Ukraine, visited Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts to observe the implementation of humanitarian programmes, carried out in the conflict-affected areas by UNHCR and UNICEF. © UNHCR/B. Sokol/2019

UNHCR delivers coal to village on the contact line in east  Ukraine. Halyna, 79, has received a coal supply to heat her home in the village of Luhanske, Donetsk. © UNHCR/Evgeny Maloletka/2016

Galina, 65, walks along the main street in Nikishino village, in eastern Ukraine. ‘I’m 65 and everything I have I’m holding,’ says Galina. The street is littered with unexploded mortars and mines and Galina has just returned from her destroyed home were she salvaged what she could. © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell/2015

UNHCR Ukraine staff working on loading the humanitarian aid to the truck. The three shipments of 20 tons each delivered food and NFIs for 100 families in Nikalayevka, NFIs for 400 families and baby food for 100 children/infants in Artiomovsk district. © UNHCR/Emine Ziyatdinova/2014

“Photo on the Passport,” a photo project of the UNHCR on stateless people, was dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the #IBelong campaign. Well-known Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Chekmenev has joined the UNHCR campaign to eradicate statelessness in Ukraine. He has traveled to the remote areas of Ukraine to meet with residents of Roma settlements who do not have a Ukrainian passport, as well as with pensioners who still hold Soviet passports. © UNHCR/Oleksandr Chekmenev/2019

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie talks to a young Syrian refugee at Za’atari camp in Jordan. © UNHCR/Ivor Prickett/2018

Chidren at first restored National School in Oktyabrskoe for Crimean Tatar returnees, north of Simferopol, Ukraine. © UNHCR/B.Nahajlo/1996

More than 100 refugee, internally displaced children and children with disabilities worked jointly for four days to create the mural in Kyiv together with a famous Japanese artist Miyazaki Kensuke, who came to Ukraine in the frame of his global project “Over the Wall”. Together with his team, he creates murals to give hope for peace to people, who have suffered from wars, natural disasters, poverty or hunger. © UNHCR/Changhun Lee/2018

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie speaks with children who fled Venezuela, in Brisas del Norte, an informal settlement in Riohacha, Colombia. “This is a life and death situation for millions of Venezuelans, but UNHCR has received only a fraction of the funds it needs to help them survive.” © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell/2018

New Rohingya arrivals from Myanmar take shelter in the UNHCR Transit Centre in Kutupalong camp. Many new arrivals say they fled Myanmar due to movement restrictions, violence, threats of violence and fear of disappearance. © UNHCR/Roger Arnold/2017

Rohingya refugees in Nayapara camp, Teknaf are being registered using the Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) – including iris scans and finger prints – in a joint exercise between UNHCR and the Government of Bangladesh. © UNHCR/Roger Arnold/2017

Bardarash was a decommissioned camp. Now it shelters thousands of Syrian refugees who crossed the border into Duhok, Iraq, in search of safety. © UNHCR/Rasheed Hussein Rasheed/2019

UNHCR distributes hygiene kits and firewood during COVID-19 crisis. Refugees at Kalobeyei Settlement in Kenya receive two-month rations of soap, jerrycans and firewood. © UNHCR/Samuel Otieno/2020