When faced with an emergency, UNHCR thinks and acts quickly. If conflict has forced people to flee their homes or persecution or violence has displaced a community overnight, UNHCR is ready to help.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Gordon Welteres

UNHCR assists with global emergencies in 132 countries—across 550 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 and emergency disaster relief. 

UNHCR provides essential services to refugees all over the world. We release core relief items such as blankets, water and medical supplies within 72 hours for around 600,000 refugees and people affected by conflict in simultaneous emergencies.  

In UNHCR’s 2020 Global Trends Report, we see a dangerous new era of displacement. By the end of 2020, 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced as a result of conflict, persecution, violence or human rights violations. The world’s displaced population is at a record high.

Zarif, 6 stands peaks from his grandmother, Herati’s makeshift tent. His father was killed during the clashes between the government and the non-government armed forces


The imminent crisis in Afghanistan is the latest in a cycle of conflict and loss that has lasted more than 40 years. Generations have never known peace. Since the start of this year, nearly 635,000 people have been forced to flee their homes because of intense fighting.

Rohingya Crisis

Nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees have been forced to escape violence in Myanmar by fleeing to Bangladesh – walking for days through jungles and mountains or braving dangerous sea voyages.  


Yemen is currently the world’s worst humanitarian crisiswith 80% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance. Increased violence is resulting in widespread casualties and massive displacement. 


Over 6.7 million people have fled Syria since 2011, seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and beyond. Millions more are displaced inside Syria as war continues. 

Women getting temperature check in Rwanda


The coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, knows no borders, no language barriers. COVID-19 has devastated the lives of refugees and internally displaced people.

Ethiopian families flee


A full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding as thousands of refugees flee ongoing fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region to seek safety.

Malian refugees in Goudoubo camp carry home new dignity kits, received at a distribution point in the camp. ; There are currently more than 25,000 Malian refugees seeking safety in Burkina Faso, a country which is experiencing massive and rapid forced displacement. With no prospects for return as the conflict continues at home, these refugees are now exposed to rising insecurity in their new host country. Some 6,500 Malians are living in Goudoubo camp, which was attacked by armed groups three times in 2019. UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi visited the camp to meet refugees in February 2020.


The central Sahel region is facing a severe humanitarian and protection crisis. Massive displacement, most of it driven by violence perpetrated by a range of armed actors, is taking place across the region.

A refugee boy from Central African Republic shows the groundnuts he will plant in Dosseye refugee camp. Many of the old caseload refugees grow food to make up for the current ration cut. @ UNHCR / C. Fohlen

Central African Republic

With armed groups controlling parts of the country, over 1 million Central African Republic (CAR) refugees have fled their homes in desperation, seeking safety.  

central American refugee crisis

Central America

For those living in the North of Central America (NCA), everyday life unfolds in the shadow of constant fear. Worsening crime and violence, fuelled by drug cartels and gangs, accounts for much of the increase, along with fragile institutions, and increasing inequalities. 


Since the beginning of 2014, more than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes. Those returning to their areas of origin are facing a number of critical protection issues, living in fear and trapped in regions controlled by violent extremists.  

A man and a woman wait to get onto a bus in Libya


Hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers, including young children, have traveled to Libya with the aim of eventually reaching Europe. They are trying to find a safe place to call home after fleeing devastating violence, persecution and conflict at home.   

South Sudan

Since December 2013, brutal conflict in South Sudan has claimed thousands of lives and driven nearly 4 million people from their homes. 

People walking with suitcases


Over 5 million Venezuelans are now seeking protection in neighbouring countries, as families continue to flee their homes due to violence, insecurity, and lack of food, medicine and essential services.    

When a crisis strikes, UNHCR is on the ground saving lives within 72 hours.

UNHCR is often the first to arrive and the last to leave in an emergency, supporting those forced to flee their homes through no fault of their own. In the aftermath of a crisis, UNHCR remains on the ground to help revive devastated communities and help displaced families return, recover and restart their lives. 

UNHCR is with refugees at every stage of their journey—whenever and wherever needed. We set up refugee camps around the world, providing food aid, shelter and other basic living necessities. 

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