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Established in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is mandated to "lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide." Since its inception it is estimated that the agency has helped over 50 million people with various types of assistance. At the site, visitors can learn about the current High Commissioner (who is currently Ruud Lubbers, a former Dutch prime minister), read his various speeches, learn about the Geneva Refugee Convention, and peruse current statistics on asylum seekers and refugees. The news section of the site is quite strong and includes archived and current press releases from the agency, briefing notes from agency spokespersons in Geneva, and material on agency employees in the field. Visitors can also keep abreast of current refugee emergency situations, such as those in Chad, Iraq, and Afghanistan. For those who may feel overwhelmed by the mass of information on the site, there is a Basic Facts area that offers a good overview of the agency's activities.
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