Our photo library in Geneva is the world's largest collection of refugee-related photos covering nearly all of the major displacements of the last 60 years. These images provide a comprehensive portrait of the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people and the stateless in all corners of the globe, as well as the work of thousands of UN staff who have helped them. Most photos are showcased here and on Flickr. We offer the use of our photos free to the media - please just remember to credit us!
The Senseless Suffering Continues in the Central African Republic
Added 31 Mar 2014
A year after the Seleka, a coalition of predominantly Muslim rebel groups, seized power in Central African Republic (CAR), the impoverished country is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis, marked by brutality and massive displacement. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, after visiting the capital Bangui last month, called the situation in Central African Republic “a humanitarian catastrophe of unspeakable proportions.” The roots of the inter-communal conflict are complicated and have been marked in recent weeks by retaliatory attacks on civilians by the Seleka and the rival Christian Anti-Balaka militia. One in five people have fled their homes: some 625,000 are internally displaced and 312,000 are in neighbouring countries. Some 2.5 million people in CAR need help, but funding is low, and large parts of the country are too dangerous to reach. The displaced are spread all over, including more than 54,000 at Bangui’s international airport. They need help and protection. Photographer Annibale Greco recently travelled with UNHCR to areas where the displaced have found shelter. These are her images.
A Mounting Struggle to Survive: Urban Refugees in Jordan
Added 21 Mar 2014
Much of the media coverage of Syrian refugees in Jordan has focused on the tens of thousands of people in settlements like Za’atri. But more than 80 per cent of arrivals live outside the camps, and are facing a mounting struggle to survive. After three years of conflict, they are finding it increasingly difficult to put a roof over their head, pay the bills and provide an education for their children.
Many have found homes near their point of entry, in the north of Jordan; often in disrepair, some still within earshot of shelling from across the border. Others have gone further south, looking for more affordable accommodation in Amman, Aqaba, Karak and the Jordan Valley. While most rent houses and apartments, a minority live in informal shelters.
From 2012-2013, UNHCR and the International Relief and Development non-governmental organisation conducted more than 90,000 home visits to understand the situations of Syrian families and provide assistance where needed. The resulting report is an unprecedented look at the challenges 450,000 Syrians face when living outside the camps in Jordan, as they fight to make a new life far from home. Photographer Jared Kohler captured the life of some of these refugees.
Syria Crisis Third Anniversary: A Child of the Conflict
Added 21 Mar 2014
Ashraf was born the very day the Syria conflict began: March 15, 2011. He is the seventh child in a family from Homs. Within a week of his birth, the conflict arrived in his neighbourhood. For months his family rarely left the house. Some days there was non-stop bombing, others were eerily quiet. On the quiet days, Ashraf's mother made a run with him to the local health clinic for vaccinations and check-ups.
When Ashraf was about 18 months old, his aunt, uncle and cousin were murdered – their throats slit – as the boy slept nearby in his family’s home. Terrified that they were next, Ashraf’s family crammed into their car, taking a few precious belongings, and drove to the border.
They left behind their home, built by Ashraf's father and uncle. Within days the house was looted and destroyed. Photographer Andrew McConnell visited the family at their new home, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, which was also built by Ashraf's father and uncle. Located on the edge of a muddy field, it is a patchwork of plastic sheeting, canvas and scrap metal. The floor is covered with blankets and mattresses from UNHCR. They now face new challenges such as the daily battle to keep the children warm, dry and protected from rats. Ashraf still starts at sudden loud noises, but the doctor told his mother that the boy would get used to it. All photos UNHCR / A. McConnell