Filippo Grandi became the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on 1 January 2016. As High Commissioner, he heads one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize. Its 18,000-strong workforce spans 135 countries providing protection and assistance to over 84 million refugees, returnees, internally displaced people as well as stateless people. Some 90 per cent of UNHCR staff work in the field, often in difficult and dangerous duty stations. The organization's needs-based budget for 2021 is US$9.1 billion.
Before being elected High Commissioner, Mr. Grandi had been engaged in international cooperation for over 30 years, focusing on refugee and humanitarian work. He served as Commissioner-General of the UN Agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, from 2010 to 2014, after having been the organization’s Deputy Commissioner-General since 2005. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan, following a long career first with NGOs and later with UNHCR in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and at the organization’s Geneva headquarters.