A place to feel safe and secure again

Photo: ©UNHCR/A.McConnell

Shelter is more than a physical structure. It is somewhere a family can share meals and sleep in privacy, do homework, store belongings, feel safe and live with dignity.

UNHCR has shelter expertise across the full cycle of humanitarian situations to help families who have lost everything after fleeing for their lives.

On the frontlines of new emergencies, UNHCR’s shelter teams can deploy emergency tarpaulins and tents to protect thousands of families at short notice.

When displacement becomes more protracted, UNHCR provides more durable solutions, such as refugee housing units, to help improve security and stability. UNHCR also helps refugees build shelters using local materials and expertise. 

Our supporters help fund


To provide immediate shelter when a crisis erupts.

Emergency tents

For rapid deployment on a large scale to shelter families.

Refugee housing units

Robust, longer term housing for the most vulnerable.

A new home for mother Aie

Aie and her children fled Nigeria when their home town came under attack from an armed group. UNHCR staff first met them at the Chad border and helped the family reach Dar-es-Salam Refugee Camp. Because of their extreme vulnerability as a young widow with two children and a baby, UNHCR allocated the family a Refugee Housing Unit (RHU).

“At first, moving into an RHU was just about finding shelter for my family. Later, I found that an RHU is more comfortable than other shelters. I like its lighting and ventilation, and have divided it into two parts [with a sheet]. We store our belongings in the back, and we sleep near the entrance,” explains Aie.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Aristophane Ngargoune

Did you know more than 2.6 million refugees in camps have been displaced for over five years?

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