The Khaled Hossieni Foundation
photo © UNHCR


ABOUT OUR WORK / Khaled's UN work

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), was formed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950. UNHCR has helped tens of millions of refugees restart their lives, winning two Nobel Peace Prizes in the process. It is one of the world's foremost humanitarian agencies, providing shelter, protection, emergency food, medical care and other necessities to those who have been forced to abandon their homes and flee due to violence, persecution or war. The agency is active in Afghanistan, Darfur, Chad, Columbia, Uganda, and many other locations. At the height of the Afghan refugee crisis, as many as 8 million people had fled abroad to escape the violence at home. Since 2002, nearly 6 million Afghan refugees have returned after years of living in Pakistan and Iran. For many, the return home has proved very difficult. Many refugees live in abject poverty. They are homeless, landless, and have no access to clean water, schools, or health clinics.

In September of 2007, 2009 and recently in 2010, Khaled returned to Afghanistan as an envoy for the UNHCR. He visited villages in Northern Afghanistan and spoke to refugees who have resettled there. He saw firsthand the humanitarian assistance provided by the UNHCR. This return trip reinforced for Khaled the reality that Afghans are still hopelessly dependent on the support of the international community. He hopes that the wealthy western nations will continue their rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan, and make a genuine and long-term commitment to ensuring the future of the coming generation of Afghans.

"When UNHCR asked me to work with them as a Goodwill Envoy, I didn't think twice. As a native of Afghanistan, a country with one of the world's largest refugee populations, the refugee issue is one that is close and dear to my heart. My role with the UNHCR is to speak on behalf of the refugee cause and to serve as a public advocate for refugees around the world. It will be my privilege to try to capture public attention and to use my access to media to give voice to victims of humanitarian crises. I look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with UNHCR." — Khaled Hosseini


Nearly 6 million Afghans have returned to their homeland since 2002. The UNHCR projects that another 165,000 Afghans will return in 2010. READ MORE

In 2007, the UNHCR partnered with Khaled as US Goodwill Envoy, to improve access to primary education for refugee children from Darfur living in the Mile and Kounoungou camps in eastern Chad. READ MORE

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