The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, was established in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly to provide protection and assistance to refugees worldwide.
Today, UNHCR is one of the world's principal humanitarian agencies; UNHCR's staff are the backbone of the organization and about 89 percent of them are based in the field providing the world's most vulnerable people with safety and coordinating access to food, shelter, clean water, medical care and basic education.
When possible, UNHCR helps refugees and other displaced people return to their homes voluntarily, safely and with dignity. When return is not possible, the agency assists with local integration or resettlement to a third country.
UNHCR is almost entirely funded by voluntary contributions - donated by governments, organizations, and caring individuals.
During its half century of work, the agency has provided assistance to more than 50 million people worldwide, earning two Nobel Peace Prizes in 1954 and 1981.