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!
One Year On: Thousands Still Recovering from Typhoon Haiyan
Added 19 Nov 2014
All photos: UNHCR / P. Behan
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record anywhere – ran ashore in the central Philippines, causing wide devastation, displacing 4 million people and killing at least 6,300. A year on, and the recovery work still goes on. While most of the 4.1 million people who were displaced have either returned home to rebuild, or been relocated, solutions are still needed for around 20,000 people either living in shelters or – in a small number of cases – with host families.
The UN refugee agency and partners such as shipments and logistics giant United Parcel Service (UPS) were swift to respond last November, contributing funds for immediate needs and for long-term recovery. Funding was used to provide critical aid during the emergency, including tents, solar-powered lanterns and protection kits.
A year after the typhoon struck, some people in Leyte province, one of the areas hardest hit, are still rebuilding their lives. People still need help with physical dwellings, water and sanitation, hygiene, as well as land and property issues. Some live in tents, others have moved into transitional housing and some families are building new houses. Despite the trauma, there is a real sense of hope for the future among the people of Leyte. Photographer Phil Behan and UNHCR staff member Marjanna Bergman visited the central Philippines to record the situation today.
Displacement, Disability and Uncertainty in Ukraine
Added 22 Oct 2014
To date, around 275,500 people have been displaced by fighting in Ukraine. Becoming displaced is bad enough. But for Viktoria, 41, and Aleksandr, 40, who both have cerebral palsy, even life under normal circumstances is difficult. They also have two sons - Dima, 20, and Ivan, 19 months.
At the end of July, shelling in Donetsk forced Viktoria and Aleksandr to flee to the Kharkiv region. It wasn’t long before Viktoria’s medication ran out. In a desperate bid to help, Aleksandr called the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, who found them transportation and accommodation in Kharkiv.
From there, they were taken to a summer camp called Prometei. The forest, the fresh air and a lake near the camp offered a perfect setting to spend the summer. But, like 120 other internally displaced people living there, all Viktoria and Aleksandr could think about was home. They had hoped to return by the autumn. But autumn soon came and went.
Today, it is still not safe to go back to Donetsk. The camp is not winterised and the administration has asked people to leave by October 15th.
Neither Viktoria nor Aleksandr know where they and their young son can go next.
Edwige Deals With Loss by Keeping Busy and Aiding Others in Mole Camp
Added 21 Oct 2014
Edwige Kpomako is a woman in a hurry; but her energy also helps the refugee from Central African Republic (CAR) to cope with the tragedy that forced her to flee to northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last year. Before violence returned to her country in 2012, the 25-year-old was studying for a Masters in American literature in Bangui, and looking forward to the future. “I started my thesis on the works of Arthur Miller, but because of the situation in CAR...,” she said, her voice trailing off. Instead, she had to rush to the DRC with a younger brother, but her fiancée and 10-year old son were killed in the inter-communal violence in CAR.
After crossing the Oubangui River to the DRC, Edwige was transferred to Mole, a camp housing more than 13,000 refugees. In a bid to move on with her life and keep busy, she started to help others, assume a leadership role and take part in communal activities, including the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. She heads the women’s committee, is engaged in efforts to combat sexual violence, and acts as a liaison officer at the health centre. She also teaches and runs a small business selling face creams. “I discovered that I’m not weak,” said Edwige, who remains optimistic. She is sure that her country will come out of its nightmare and rebuild, and that she will one day become a human rights lawyer helping refugees.