Rebuilding Lives

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UNHCR believes every refugee deserves a bright and safe future. That’s why UNHCR invests in creating opportunities and finding lasting solutions for the people we assist.

Refugee Education, Giving Everyone a Chance to Learn

Education is one of the most grounding and normalizing things for a child who has just experienced the trauma of fleeing his or her home amidst war and violence. Education is often seen as a luxury for young refugees or internally displaced people whose families are also struggling to find food, assistance and shelter. But education is a basic right, one that we believe is vital to restore hope, dignity, stability, safety, and in the long-term, self-sufficiency.

With your support, UNHCR Canada is able to invest in creating opportunities and finding lasting solutions for the people we assist. We are committed to improving access to learning programs for young refugees of all ages, as well as offering support for teacher training and raising funds for school supplies and repairs.

UNHCR Canada supports distance-learning programs, which ensure degrees obtained in host countries are recognized when refugees return home. And we even have a special fund that offers higher education scholarships for refugees in their host countries.

Over 50% of refugees are under the age of 18

Empowering Women to Secure Economic Independence

Unaccompanied women, single mothers, and pregnant, disabled or older women all face particular challenges and threats in crisis settings. Together with our partners, we work to ensure marginalized women have ample and equal access to humanitarian assistance. Our programs are planned and carried out with women’s special needs in mind. They are included in decision-making processes and empowered with new skills.

With your support, we’re helping displaced survivors of sexual and gender-based violence heal, recover and gain confidence. UNHCR is also investing in young women—by providing special programs to increase their enrollment in secondary education, and to build leadership, life and vocational skills for economic independence. UNHCR also assists widowed women in returning to their communities to rebuild their homes.

1 in 4
refugee households are headed by women

Helping Refugees Earn a Living in New Communities

Refugees may flee their homes with few belongings, but these farmers, nurses, teachers and business owners always carry three valuable things with them: knowledge, skills and experience. We recognize the enormous potential of refugees to contribute to local economies, wherever they settle and their ardent desire to become self-reliant. That’s why we work with refugees to help revive their livelihoods and develop new marketable skills.

UNHCR’s humanitarian workers, livelihood specialists and local partners also provide career counselling, seed money and other forms of assistance for entrepreneurs, as well as other income-generating projects.

“Work is the only thing that gives substance to life.”

– Albert Einstein, a refugee

Long-Term Solutions to Help Refugees Resettle

Since 1950, UNHCR has been strongly advocating for safe and lasting solutions for refugees. Most refugees long to return home, and we work with governments and partners to help them go home when it’s safe to do so. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible. When refugees can’t go home, we help them rebuild their lives in another country.

We believe the best option for refugee families is voluntary repatriation. We work with governments and partners to help refugees go home when it’s safe to do so. We also help refugees integrate into countries where they have found refuge, or resettle in countries, like Canada.

Resettlement is a precious and often life-saving opportunity for refugees. Unfortunately, the need for resettlement far exceeds available spaces. In 2016, only 126,000 people (less than 1% of the refugee population) were resettled in countries like Canada, the United States and Australia.

refugees returned to their home country in 2016



Iraq Emergency

Violent attacks have created new waves of displacement—creating a need for even more resources. Rapid response efforts are underway, including the distribution of basic relief items necessary for survival.

Who We Help

Who We Help

We help people 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.

Emergency Relief

Emergency Relief

UNHCR can deploy humanitarian aid and expert response teams within 48 hours of a large-scale emergency to jump-start relief and protection assistance for more than 600,000 newly displaced people.