UNHCR in Myanmar

lead imageSchoolchildren receive basic relief items from UNHCR. Photo: UNHCR/Saw Ronald Hein

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works to protect and assist those who have been forcibly displaced.

We support refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) by delivering life-saving emergency assistance like shelter, helping to safeguard their basic rights, and working towards solutions that enable people to regain a safe place to call home and to build a better future.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 1950, UNHCR is now present in over 125 countries, using our experience to help protect and care for refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people worldwide.


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UNHCR in Myanmar

UNHCR has been working in Myanmar since 1994. As well as our office in Yangon, we are currently present in Myitkyina and Bhamo in Kachin State; Sittwe, Maungdaw and Buthidaung in Rakhine State; and Hpa-An, Mawlamyine, Dawei and Loikaw in the south-east of the country.

As part of the inter-agency response to displacement, UNHCR helps to provide assistance to IDPs in Kachin and Shan states, where approximately 100,000 people have fled their homes since the resumption of fighting in 2011; and in Rakhine State where some 120,000 people remain displaced since the inter-communal violence in 2012.

Working together with partners to provide IDPs with their basic needs, UNHCR leads the Protection Sector and the Shelter, Non-Food Items, and Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster.

In the south-east of Myanmar, UNHCR is assisting the authorities and local communities to prepare the ground for the potential voluntary return in safety and dignity of Myanmar refugees in Thailand.

Nationwide, UNHCR works with the Myanmar Government to address the situation of stateless people and to advocate for solutions for those without citizenship.

UNHCR relies on voluntary contributions; it receives generous support from many governments and private donors to ensure that it has the resources to play its part in the wider support being offered by the UN in Myanmar.

UNHCR colleague speaking with an IDP An internally displaced person speaks with a UNHCR staff member. Photo: UNHCR/Hkun Lat