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What We Do

What We Do
© UNHCR/P.Taggart

Help the Uprooted and Stateless

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.

In more than six decades, the agency has helped millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of more than 9,300 people in 123 countries provides protection and assistance to nearly 55 million refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people. A further 5.1 million registered refugees are being looked after in the Middle East by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.


The protection of millions of uprooted or stateless people is UNHCR's core mandate.

Emergency Response

UNHCR is committed to increasing its ability to respond to complex emergency situations.


From life-saving aid to help with shelter, health, water, education and more.

Durable Solutions

Voluntary repatriation, local integration, resettlement, the three key solutions.


How UNHCR and partners seek to minimize the environmental impact of refugee operations.

Alternatives to Camps

UNHCR believes camps should be the exception and only a temporary measure in response to forced displacement.



Asylum and Migration

Asylum and Migration

All in the same boat: The challenges of mixed migration around the world.

Global Needs Assessment

Global Needs Assessment

A blueprint for planning and action that gives donors an accurate picture of what is needed.


Fund-raising is vital to UNHCR, which relies on donations for almost all of its annual budget.


Advocacy is a key element in UNHCR activities to protect people of concern.

Capacity Building

Helping national authorities meet their obligations to the uprooted.