United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the

(UNHCR), established Dec. 14, 1950, by the General Assembly. It superseded the International Refugee OrganizationInternational Refugee Organization
(IRO), temporary agency of the United Nations, established in 1946. In arranging for the care and the repatriation or resettlement of Europeans made homeless by World War II, the organization brought to a conclusion part of the work of the
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. It seeks permanent solutions to refugee problems, offers international protection to refugees, coordinates the activities of voluntary agencies, and assists the most needy refugee groups. It was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981. In the late 1950s the office of UNHCR aided refugees from Hungary, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, and Chinese refugees in Hong Kong. Since the 1960s most of its economic assistance has gone to refugees created by tribal and political conflicts and civil wars, and since the 1980s such conflicts have taken it to the Horn of Africa, Central America, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other locations.

Bibliography

See study by L. Holborn (1974).

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