UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a lifeline for people displaced by violence, conflict and persecution.

Photo: © UNHCR

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization 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.

We  provide  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 solutions for them to rebuild their lives in another country. Since its formation by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1950, UNHCR has helped millions of refugees and displaced persons and has twice received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today, UNHCR’s committed staff of  over 17,000  people work in 135 countries – saving and protecting the lives of millions of refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people, and finding solutions to help them build better futures.

Learn about the work of UNHCR in Canada.

unhcr helping political, climate and environmental refugees

Who we help

We help people, including refugees, displaced persons and asylum-seekers, whose lives have been turned upside down by crisis. Whenever and wherever people are uprooted by conflict, UNHCR is there offering life-saving assistance and protection.

unhcr providing emergency humanitarian aid


UNHCR works with refugee and displaced populations who have fled violence, conflict and persecution. Learn more about the countries where we are currently working around the world.

emergency medical aid for refugees around the world

Latest news

Our newsroom aims to bring you important information from around the world, including breaking news from Canada and around the world, stories, photos and videos. 

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Get the latest news on refugee emergencies and our work in Canada.

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