The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is a United Nations programme mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland, and it is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, once in 1954 and again in 1981.
Following the demise of the League of Nations and the formation of the United Nations the international community was acutely aware of the refugee crisis following the end of World War II. In 1947, the International Refugee Organization was founded by the United Nations. The IRO was the first international agency to deal comprehensively with all aspects of refugees' lives. Preceding this was the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, which was established in 1944 to address the millions of people displaced across Europe as a result of World War II.
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