The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is the world’s leading organization aiding and protecting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. UNHCR provides shelter, food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to refugees around the world.
The dream of most refugees is to return home. When possible, UNHCR helps refugees make this dream a reality. When refugees can’t go back home, we work to find opportunities for them to rebuild their lives in another country. Since its formation by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950, UNHCR has helped millions of refugees restart their lives and has twice received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Right now, 70.8 million people worldwide are displaced by war, violence or natural disasters—that’s double the population of Canada. The refugees we help work hard to rebuild their daily lives, but no one can do it alone.
Where We Work
Today, UNHCR’s committed staff of 11,517 work in 130 countries—saving and protecting lives, and building a better future for millions of displaced people around the world. UNHCR works around the world in 470 locations. Our staff are based in some of the most isolated, volatile and challenging places in the world-reaching uprooted people most in need with critical humanitarian assistance.
Our Work in Syria
Daily horrors, devastation and upheavals at an unimaginable scale makes Syria the largest humanitarian emergency of our era. UNHCR has the largest humanitarian presence on the ground in Syria and works with more than 200 partners. Where possible, we work with governments and local organizations to empower and support refugees and citizens. Together, we deliver emergency aid, protect the rights and well-being of internally displaced persons, and help civilians to build a better future.
- In winter 2018, 788,339 Syrians received winterization items such as high thermal blankets, extra plastic sheeting, winter clothes kits and sleeping bags.
- The 2018-2019 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), led by UNHCR, will support over 5 million refugees in neighbouring countries and four million in the communities hosting them.
- The 2017 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan will provide humanitarian support and protection to 13.5 million people inside Syria.