UNHCR News Story: Zaatari: A Day In The Life trailer by UNHCR on Flickr.

120,000 displaced people live in Zaatari.

United Nations microfinance scheme for refugees living in camps

Many refugees are displaced from their homes for years. They might live in refugee camps for decades. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners support microfinancing efforts. Through small loans, refugees are empowered to maintain businesses and trading efforts, thus building up their long-term security.

Microcredit: Bhutanese refugee women participate in a microcredit scheme, which offers loans to start small businesses. / Timai camp, eastern Nepal / UNHCR / J. Pagonis / July 2005. (UNHCR, Flickr)

Refugees from Burma (Myanmar) at Nu Po Refugee Camp in Thailand. (UNHCR, Flickr)

The UNHCR writes:

The difficulty of finding access to legitimate, non-exploitative sources of income is one of the most serious obstacles faced by refugees and displaced people. However, refugees and displaced people should not to be treated as passive recipients of humanitarian assistance. With the right tools and opportunities, they have the skills and resources to contribute to their own development. People with an entrepreneurial spirit can create employment for themselves and for others…

Microfinance is another way in which humanitarian agencies can provide direct assistance for income generating activities in the short–term. Since microfinance aims at both a short–term and a long–term impact, it offers a suitable field for the cooperation between humanitarian and development organizations.

Sources: UNHCR Life in a Refugee Camp on Flickr. Cross-posted from my blog at Sociology at Work.


10 December was Human Rights Day, but what are human rights and how does the UN work to promote them? Find out in this video from the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights.

And don’t forget to make a human rights wish before the year ends! 


Human Rights Day 2011

Ever wonder what a refugee camp looks like? Photos by the United Nations

The Australian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) writes:

Ever wonder what a refugee camp looks like?

One of the first things that people need after being forced to flee their homes, whether they be refugees or internally displaced, is some kind of a roof over their head.

The following photos are from the UNHCR Life in a Refugee Camp Flickr stream.

Refugees from Kosovo after a food distribution. Albania / UNHCR / R. Chalasani / 04.1999. (UNHCR, Flickr).

Because there are no regular schools at the Teknaf site, children from Burma read the Koran in a madrassa, or religious learning institute. © UNHCR/G.M.B.Akash/June 2006. (UNHCR, Flickr)

Refugee girls from Sudan’s Darfur region walk through the tent alleys in Kounoungou camp, eastern Chad. UNHCR just tranfered them and their families from the Birak area, located dangerously only 5 kms away from the border with Sudan. Kounoungou camp, March 13, 2008. / UNHCR / H. Caux. (UNHCR, Flickr)

Refugees from Kosovo settle spontaneously in a makeshift camp in the no man’s land at border between Macedonia and Kosovo, near Blace. / Arrival / / UNHCR / H. J. Davies / April 1999. (UNHCR, Flickr)

Lab Technician Abiyu Tsegaye Gebre, 30 years old, is proceeding a blood test on a refugee in the Health center in Kebribeyah refugee camp, Ethiopia. This Health center was funded by UNHCR.  UNHCR / F. Courbet / December 2008. (UNHCR, Flickr)


UNHCR Australia on Facebook.

UNHCR Flickr.