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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the (UNHCR), established Dec. 14, 1950, by the General Assembly. It superseded the International Refugee Organization. It seeks permanent solutions to refugee problems, offers international protection to refugees, coordinates the activities of voluntary agencies, and assists the most needy refugee groups. It was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981. In the late 1950s the office of UNHCR aided refugees from Hungary, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, and Chinese refugees in Hong Kong. Since the 1960s most of its economic assistance has gone to refugees created by tribal and political conflicts and civil wars, and since the 1980s such conflicts have taken it to the Horn of Africa, Central America, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other locations.

See study by L. Holborn (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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