UNHCR

An older woman working in a kitchen

There is little information on the situation of older persons on the move in the Latin American region. This regional evaluation is the first one to make a comprehensive analysis on the intersectionality between ageing and human mobility. The current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic is also analysed, including the worsening access to rights and services and the impact in their lives. With this report, HelpAge and UNHCR aim to cast light on the challenges and risks faced by older persons on the move so that actions are taken to ensure they are not left behind.

Kristin Riis Halvorsen

Kristin Riis Halvorsen, UNHCR’s head of office in Tapachula, Mexico talks about how rewarding her job is, because it allows her to do something meaningful, but she also grapples with decisions about what the organization can and cannot do. "It would have been amazing to live in a world where no one was forced to leave their home," she says.

A woman and a girl and a boy hug.

A new study released today shows that 1.5 million people from nations driving major refugee movements were admitted by 35 OECD countries and Brazil on family, work and study permits in the decade just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest report by UNHCR and the OECD , titled “Safe Pathways for Refugees II”, examines admissions from 2010 to 2019 of people from seven countries propelling displacement: Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Venezuela.

A toddler raises her hands in joy.

Grandi praises Rwanda for offering life-saving haven for refugees

Woman knee-deep in water carrying a plastic barrel.

The impacts of our changing climate are being felt worldwide, but countries already struggling with conflict, poverty and high levels of displacement are dealing with some of the most severe effects. From Afghanistan to Central America, droughts, flooding and other extreme weather events are hitting those least equipped to recover and adapt. This Earth Day, UNHCR released a new data visualization that shows how our warming world is compounding risks for people already living with conflict and instability, driving further displacement, and often decreasing possibilities for return.

‘The Journey’ is a calling for global support of the Refugee Teams competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Refugee Olympic and Paralympic athletes have a story like no other. Their stories highlight the power of sport to rebuild lives and bring hope to those forced to flee.

Portrait of a man signing a letter.

UNHCR today announced the appointment of Alphonso Davies, FC Bayern Munich’s left-back and player for Canada Men’s National Football Team, as its newest Global Goodwill Ambassador.

Syrian family outside their home

Over the past decade, millions of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes in what remains the world’s largest displacement crisis. Over 5.5 million Syrians are living as refugees in neighbouring countries, and 6.7 million are still displaced inside the country, including an estimated 2.5 million children. Syria is also currently experiencing one of the worst socio-economic downturns since the start of the crisis. In the past year alone, the Syrian pound has lost three quarters of its value while the cost of food and other essential items has rocketed by more than 200 per cent. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has made an already dire situation worse.

Rosemary Kariuki at a party

Refugee Rosemary Kariuki has been recognized as Australia’s 2021 ‘Local Hero’ for her work helping other displaced women overcome isolation and gender violence.

Ethiopian refugee doctor, Tefera Tewodros

Medical doctor Tefera Tewodros was among the first refugees to reach safety in East Sudan at the onset of the crisis last November in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Stunned by the sheer number of people streaming across the border, many sick or wounded, he realized he had to step up and help. He went to offer his support to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the Sudanese Commission for Refugees (COR) at the Hamdayet transit centre. The very next day he started volunteering at the health clinic, run by the Sudanese Red Crescent Society. Since then, he has been living and working at the health clinic in the border town of Hamdayet in Kassala state, where the majority of the 60,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Ethiopia have sought safety.

Three adults and two children are sitting on the floor in a refugee makeshift home. The adults are talking and look concerned.

"[In Yemen] the situation is quite desperate. We have probably two thirds of the population which relies on our humanitarian assistance for their daily survival. We have half of the health facilities that have been destroyed by five years of the conflict.

Portrait of a family: father, mother, baby girl and young boy

As rains approach, the race is on to get aid to thousands seeking safety in a remote village in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. The insecurity and violence surrounding last December’s elections have forced over 100,000 people like him to flee – some into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, the DRC and the Republic of the Congo, while around 100,000 people are displaced inside CAR. So far, UNHCR and its government partner have registered over 22,000 people and will update the population figures based on actual registrations.

hands holding circle symbolizing protection

Find helpful services, information on asylum procedures, or read more about your rights and duties.

Portrait of a woman.

In a data visualization project entitled ‘Livelihoods, food and futures: COVID-19 and the displaced,’ UNHCR collated statistics from numerous sources to shed more light on the effects of the pandemic on poor and vulnerable people. The storymap illustrates the drastic falls in levels of employment and income in within displaced communities since the onset of the pandemic. It also explores how families are coping to meet basic needs, in many cases forced to cut corners because of shrinking household budgets.

women in African dresses walking towards airport.

Despite an estimated 1.44 million refugees in urgent need of resettlement globally, only 22,770 were resettled through UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, last year. These are the lowest refugee resettlement numbers the agency has witnessed in almost two decades. The drop stems from low quotas put forward by states, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed departures and programmes. With 85 per cent of the 20.4 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate hosted in developing regions, resettlement is a tangible way in which states can better protect refugees, demonstrate solidarity and support host countries.