Helping people forced to flee

by Norwegian Refugee Council USA
Helping people forced to flee
Photo: Abdulkadir Mohamed/NRC
Photo: Abdulkadir Mohamed/NRC

Our 15,000 colleagues in 40 countries assisted 9.8 million displaced people in 2022.

There are more people fleeing their homes than ever before. Around the world, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee because of violence, conflict, or persecution. Against a backdrop of the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War, the Covid-19 pandemic and higher food prices have affected these vulnerable people more than most.

Last year, NRC worked in 40 of the world’s most conflict-stricken countries across four continents. Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan are the three countries where we assisted the greatest number of people. 

In Somalia, a total of 1,441,600 people in need received our assistance in 2022. NRC supported more than 417,000 Somalians with clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene conditions. This is crucial to prevent the spread of diseases. We helped more than 117,000 people to obtain a temporary or permanent home, gave legal assistance and advice to more than 300,000 people, and provided educational support to more than 24,000 children and young people. Many displaced people received several types of assistance.

NRC is grateful that the support we receive from donors enables us to increase our efforts as the needs rise. However, the needs are far greater than the resources currently available for humanitarian work.


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Illustration photo by Christian Jepsen/NRC.
Illustration photo by Christian Jepsen/NRC.

Cash-based assistance is one example of how the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is helping those who are forced to flee.

This type of assistance allows people in crisis to purchase the local food, products and services they need. It allows NRC to be faster, more efficient, and more transparent and it gets more assistance directly to the displaced people we serve, who can spend it as they see fit.

Cash-based assistance can also boost local economies. When cash is provided in the form of aid, it can create a demand for goods and services. This in turn can play a role in rebuilding or building up local infrastructure and markets.

The majority of NRC’s cash projects give unconditional and unrestricted cash. We use digital technologies, like mobile phones and electronic cards, to make the transfers.

While goods need to be sorted, packed, shipped, stored, and distributed, cash arrives immediately.

Cash assistance ensures that we respect the individual choices of people. It gives people the freedom to decide for themselves what or need to purchase. This leads to a more dignified response for people who have been forced to flee. 


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Illustration photo by Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC
Illustration photo by Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC

Every person has the right to a standard of living adequate for their health and wellbeing. This includes the right to food and livelihood protection.

During conflicts, disasters and displacement, food production and market systems face potential collapse. People lose their assets and their ability to earn a living is disrupted.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) main activity is the delivery of humanitarian aid through programme activities in the field. NRC specialises in six areas of expertise including livelihoods and food security (LFS).

We provide food assistance to prevent loss of life and to contribute to the rehabilitation of local food and market systems. We promote livelihood strategies that protect, recover and strengthen individuals' and households' abilities to earn a living. To prevent repeated displacement, we support engagement in social and economic opportunities that reinforce the adaptive capacity of systems, individuals, families and communities affected by displacement. 

We follow the UN Food and Agricultural Organization's (FAO) definition of food security: "Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."

In both emergencies and protracted crises, we analyse the livelihood vulnerability context and situation. This analysis enables us to better understand vulnerability, needs and preferences, and is key to the development of holistic integrated responses that contribute to durable solutions.

Our livelihoods and food security work focuses on thematic areas such as emergency food assistance, school meals and gardening, integrated natural resource management, credit and finance facilitation, and employment and income generation and diversification. 

In 2021, almost 1.7 million people benefitted from our livelihoods and food security work. With your support, we can help even more people!


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Photo: Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC
Photo: Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC

Our 16,000 colleagues in 35 countries assisted almost 10 million displaced people in 2021. There are more people fleeing their homes than ever before. Around the world, more than 90 million people have been forced to flee because of violence, conflict or persecution. And the Covid-19 pandemic has affected these vulnerable people more than most.

Since the Covid-19 alarm went off in the spring of 2020, our colleagues have worked hard to provide assistance to displaced people while also preventing the spread of infection. In 2021, we assisted a total of 9.8 million people.

NRC is grateful that the support we receive from our donors enables us to increase our efforts as the need increases. 

One example of how NRC is helping those who are displaced, is through our shelter and settlements work. 

NRC provides physical safety, an identity and a foundation for recovery through our shelter and settlement programming. Working hand-in-hand with other NRC activities in the field through an integrated approach, we aim to create homes and build communities to protect people from the risks of displacement and enable them to live in dignity.

We believe that reaching our collective impact of protection and dignity is a process. This starts with saving lives by facilitating access to temporary shelter during the emergency phase, and continues even in protracted displacement, and for durable solutions. The shelter and settlements response is based on learning from displaced people what makes a shelter a home and how to transform a settlement into a community.

Last year, 1,570,478 people benefitted from our shelter and settlements work. 

Thank you for helping those who are forced to flee!  


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Illustration photo by Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Illustration photo by Ingrid Prestetun/NRC

Legal assistance is one example of how NRC is helping those who are displaced  

When people are forced to flee their homes to escape violence, they often run into challenges related to civil documentation. In the chaos of fleeing, important documents such as passports, ID cards, birth certificates and marriage licences can be destroyed or lost.Individuals forced to flee often find out that not having these documents can have serious consequences that can make them more vulnerable. 

For more than two decades, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has assisted displaced persons to access civil registration and identification documents. Since 2018 alone, NRC assisted approximately more than 600,000 individuals worldwide to register and obtain documents. 

We provide information on rights, procedures and remedies; enable legal advice and representation before government entities; support women’s access to documentation; and, in some contexts, make cash transfers complementing these initiatives. 

NRC also aims to contribute to systemic changes by advocating policy changes and building the capacities of authorities so they can fulfil their obligations. 

The donations we receive from our supporters contribute to real and lasting change for millions of people forced to flee their homes.We make sure that your donations go to those who need it the most.Thank you for helping those who are forced to flee! 


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Norwegian Refugee Council USA

Location: Washington, DC, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @nrc_norway
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Washington, DC , DC United States
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