War drove chef Mohammad El Khaldy to flee for France with his family where his tasty Middle Eastern dishes are finding favour with Parisian diners.
Last June, Mohammad cooked with French chef Stéphane Jégo as part of the Paris Refugee Food Festival. The pair devised a new style of cooking at l’Ami Jean, where Jégo is the chef, combining French and Syrian recipes. Kenzo heard about it and selected Mohammad to cook at the Kenzo fashion show after-party during Paris last Fashion Week.
A young Burundi refugee collects water for his family in the UNHCR refugee camp Nduta Kigoma district Tanzania.
Today marks World Water Day. In many of parts of the world, clean water is a luxury.
When people flee their homes, they often struggle to reach safety and easily access adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. Having fled violence, people often are in a new situation when their health and survival is endangered once more.
Our Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes ensure the delivery of water and sanitation services to millions of people in camps, outside of camps and in urban settings.
This is Maria, 91 years old, and a former factory worker, with our supporter @HelenaChristensen who has been in Ukraine to hear people's stories and photograph them as a witness.
Maria has had a remarkable life. She was displaced during World War 2 at 16 years old, and then returned to the house she has now lived in since 1964.
In 2014, while she hid in the basement, half of her house was destroyed by shelling. When someone suggested she would have to move, she replied, "No, I'm sorry. This is my choice. This is where I want to live." She didn't have the means to do any repairs but UNHCR has fixed the roof, exterior, windows and insulated her home. She is very happy. She says she has been a good person all her life so she hopes the world can be a better place too.
Everyone wants to stay in their home.
Everyone feels hope.
@helenachristensen sharing homemade apple cider with Vera in Ukraine yesterday: "Vera tells me about how she was in bed the 5th of July 2014 and got up to go to the bathroom. The second she left her bedroom, a bomb went through the roof and exploded by her bed. Had she left a minute later, she would've been dead. She is very grateful to the UNHCR for rebuilding her house, which she recently moved back into 'My husband and I have lived here since we got married and both of my sons had their weddings in the garden. My husband is dead now, but this house holds all the beautiful memories of my life.'" #ishelter#withrefugees#ukraine@hectornyc
Our Special Envoy Angelina Jolie says the task of building peace can never be abandoned. We couldn't agree more.
Paying testimony to legendary UN humanitarian Sergio Vieria de Mello, who was killed in Iraq in 2003, the UN Refugee Agency Special Envoy called on citizens around the world to reject the politics of exclusion, support refugee rights, and to stay true to the ideals of the United Nations. "We are grappling with a level of conflict and insecurity that seems to exceed our will and capabilities: with more refugees than ever before, and new wars erupting on top of existing conflicts, some already lasting decades. "The task of building peace and security can never be abandoned, no matter how bleak the situation." You can read Angelina's speech here: http://trib.al/lEf64Gn
UNHCR/ @markhenleyphotos ------------------------------------ #refugees#withrefugees#angelinajolie
Refugee crisis in South Sudan is now the world’s fastest growing crisis.
The total displacement from South Sudan into the surrounding countries has now reached 1.6 million people. Almost half have crossed into Uganda, and the situation is now critical in the country’s north.
Along with five other countries, Uganda is a frontline state for a new approach – it has agreed to take actions to integrate humanitarian efforts with developmental ones. These include providing land to refugees, including refugees in national development plans, and allowing them to access job markets.
Our Special Envoy Angelina Jolie today reaffirmed her commitment to refugees worldwide, telling staff at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency: “I am with you for life” .
Angelina visited our headquarters during a one-day trip to Geneva, and spoke to hundreds of staff members. “This is like coming home. I was first here 16 years ago and had no idea what was ahead of me. I am sure many of you sometimes feel the same way.”
In the years she has worked with UNHCR, Jolie noted that the number of people driven from their homes by wars and persecution had surged to 65 million from 22 million, presenting a challenge to the world and in particular the UN Refugee Agency. “You have more people under your care, you have more to be concerned with, you have more to do, and you have less support, and I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you sometimes coming to work every day,” Jolie said.
The rise in displacement comes at a moment when lasting solutions to the conflicts and other situations driving displacement remain elusive. “And, I know, many days you must feel, when you read the news, when you do your work, when you go into the field, ‘are we doing enough? Will we ever be able to do enough? Will we ever be able to get on top of this situation?” .
“Probably like most field officers, I know you think more about those you couldn’t help, than all those you have helped. But know there’s a reason why I’m so proud to be with UNHCR, because the work you do, and what you do in the field, and the lives you help to save and the people you help to get through their days … makes all the difference.”
Speaking of the many challenges facing UNHCR and the broader humanitarian community, Jolie urged staff to “really step forward and say who we are and who we fight for and work even harder. So I am with you, not just for my contract, I am with you for life. You can’t walk away once you’ve joined UNHCR” .
UNHCR/ @markhenleyphotos ---------------------------------------
After six years of war, Syrian refugees are struggling to survive. Many are living well below the poverty line, unable to feed their children properly or continue their educations.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee agency, is on the ground protecting those most at risk, but we can’t do this alone. We are critically short of funds to respond.
You can help provide shelter, medicine, and food, fuel for heating, thermal blankets and warm clothes.
Please consider supporting us today at donate.unhcr.org
Our Special Envoy Angelina Jolie says the task of building peace can never be abandoned. We couldn't agree more.
Paying testimony to legendary UN humanitarian Sergio Vieria de Mello, who was killed in Iraq in 2003, the UN Refugee Agency Special Envoy called on citizens around the world to reject the politics of exclusion, support refugee rights, and to stay true to the ideals of the United Nations . "We are grappling with a level of conflict and insecurity that seems to exceed our will and capabilities: with more refugees than ever before, and new wars erupting on top of existing conflicts, some already lasting decades" .
"The task of building peace and security can never be abandoned, no matter how bleak the situation" .
More than 65 million people are currently uprooted by wars and persecution worldwide, including more than 21 million refugees. Half of them are children, far too many of whom are missing out on an education. Only 50% are enrolled in primary school, 22% in secondary, and 1% in tertiary education. Today, an innovative project called the Instant Network School is helping educate a generation of refugee students across Africa. There are currently 31 schools which are increasing school attendance rates, improving exam results and motivating teachers and students alike. We’re thrilled to see students and teachers connect with each other and the world. UNHCR / @cathywachiaya ------------------------------------- #AfricaShares#refugees#education#kenya
This is where Syrian refugees are hosted. Surprise you?
Join us this Wednesday for a first Facebook Live with our Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, and watch her deliver the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation lecture from the UN Geneva Assembly Hall followed by a discussion with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and BBC News Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet.
“Before I started here I couldn’t read bus timetables. Now I can read a timetable or a newspaper. It’s a very good feeling!” .
Aisha never went school when she was growing up in Syria, but with a husband and children who could read and write, it had never been a problem.
But when she found herself a widow and a refugee at the age of 73 and living alone in Jordan without her children to help, she knew she had to learn to read and write to survive.
Aisha enrolled in a literacy class we fund at a community center serving Syrian refugees in Jordan. Before long, she became an inspiration to our staff. “When I texted my son for the first time he was so surprised. He replied “Mum! When did you learn to write? How did you learn that?” I’d kept it a surprise and they were pleased for me” .
The ability to read and write has changed Aisha’s world – these skills help her cope with her new life and help rebuild her confidence. She now hopes to join a math programme and learn computer skills. Aisha also receives monthly assistance to help cover the cost of her rent and medication.
“We lost our lives, we need to start again to see a good future. We don’t want to wait without anything to do. We need to work, we need to be something in this world.” - said Mohamed, 44, an electrician from Al-Sabinah, south of Damascus.
Mohamed started volunteering in Kara Tepe, an accommodation facility for refugees and asylum-seekers on the Greek island of Lesvos, last summer when he spotted workmen measuring the ground. They told him they were installing cables to bring solar power to the camp. Keen to make use of his skills, he asked if he could help. Since January, Mohamed has been helping UNHCR with a wider operation to assist authorities install prefabricated houses at Kara Tepe. He helped connect the new units to the solar panels and disconnect empty refugee housing.
This is a UNHCR emergency distribution for displaced Yemeni families in the district of Bayt al Faqih in the Red Sea governorate of Hudaydah. Families receive critical supplies to help cope through displacement including emergency shelter and household items such as mattresses, sleeping mats, blankets cooking utensils and wash buckets.
Home - for the first time .
This young girl was born in exile in neighboring Thailand, but was among the first small group of refugees to voluntarily return to Myanmar in October of last year. We helped support their return by providing counseling, transportation and relief supplies.
This week we mark the 6th anniversary of the war in Syria.Syria’s conflict is not about numbers, it’s about people.Families have been torn apart, businesses and livelihoods shattered.
It’s a collective failure.
Visiting Syria in February, our Refugees Chief Filippo Grandi said that despite following the conflict closely nothing had prepared him for immensity of the destruction he witnessed. “Unless drastic measures are taken to shore up peace and security for Syria, the situation will worsen", he said.
“I am still the same nice girl. I hope I get better, and go to school, and then grow up” .
Wafaa is eight years old, and lives in a temporary shelter in Aleppo. When her house was shelled, a gas cylinder exploded next to her, burning her face.
As we mark the sixth anniversary of the Syria conflict, let’s not forget children like Wafaa, and every single one of the 9 million Syrians who have been forced, by bombs, fighting and destruction, to flee their homes. Please stand with them, please stand #WithRefugees
When Saharawi refugee Ghalia (right) suddenly went into labor, getting to the hospital with her sister Mana, was not a problem: a neighbor was around to drive them. But after the birth, the new mother struggled to find a ride home - she was left feeling stranded and dependant.
Their frustration inspired the sisters to found a driving school for women in Dakhla camp in southwestern Algeria. A female behind the wheel is still considered uncommon, but this school has helped shift attitudes. Today, the school is empowering women like them to move around freely and independently.
For four decades, we’ve been actively promoting gender equality, by supporting projects just like Ghalia and Mana’s driving school. Engaging women to improve their own situation has a direct and positive impact on the well-being and livelihood of their families and communities.
UNHCR/ Russell Fraser
People fleeing war and violence often lose everything in their search for safety, but women and girls face the added dangers of discrimination and sexual violence. Our colleagues around the world work to minimize these risks and help displaced women and girls rebuild their lives. Today, on International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to their resilience. Here, we see teachers, mothers, athletes, students, business women and care-givers. And we also see people who are just like us.
"We want our future to be better. So that we can make our dreams come true.” Meet the TIGER girls of Zaatari refugee camp .
When women and girls are forced to flee, they face specific risks and challenges. But they also show incredible strength and resilience.
Six-year-old Violet fled Honduras with her parents and four siblings after gangs threatened to kill them. The family found refuge at a shelter that we fund in southern Mexico. Mexico has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking safety on its soil, as more people flee a surge in violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras .
UNHCR/Sebastian Rich (@hopefocus) --------------------------------- #girl#Mexico#refugees#hope#instahope#realpeople#UNHCR#WomensDay
"He's my best friend" .
Mabior is a refugee from South Sudan. Abraham is Ugandan. But labels don't matter at Nyumanzi primary school in northern Uganda where refugee and local students learn and play together.
UNHCR/ Dana Hughes ------------------------------------- #friendship#Uganda#refugees#hope#instahope#realpeople#UNHCR
"I can say he is the love of my life. I still remember the day when we first met in school, I couldn’t sleep that night just thinking of him" .
School sweethearts Lizbeth and John met in Sudan. In September 2011, the young married couple decided to flee to South Sudan after heavy clashes: “We did it for our children. We didn’t want them to witness the same violence as we did” .
Lizbeth and John work hard to support one-another and heir children in camp life. "My husband encouraged me to start school and to join a women's volleyball team. Now I can say I have a new dream. I want to be a volleyball player for my country – Sudan. I want my children to be proud of me” .
UNHCR/ @eujinbyun ---------------------------------------- #love#Sudan#refugees#hope#instahope#realpeople#UNHCR
“The resilient people of Syria have hope and optimism. We need to invest in that. We need to give peace a chance.” Khaled is from a mountain town in Syria, which in times of peace thrived from the productive cherry orchards that blossom on its outskirts. Now, he and some 13.5 million fellow Syrians rely on humanitarian aid.
UNHCR/ Qusai Alazroni