UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has announced the appointment of Swiss-born American actress, singer and human rights activist Kat Graham as its newest Goodwill Ambassador.

Kat Graham visiting refugees in Melkadida camp, Ethiopia, in July 2019
Kat Graham visiting refugees in Melkadida camp, Ethiopia, in July 2019
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Since 2013, Graham has been working with UNHCR as a High-Profile Supporter to bring attention and awareness to the plight of the world’s displaced through her support of key UNHCR events and campaigns around the world, through media appearances and her social media platform with over 9 million followers.

As a High-Profile Supporter, Graham has visited refugees in several parts of the world, including Jordan, Central America and Ethiopia. She has been particularly moved by the courage and strength of the women and girls she has encountered, as well as their incredible spirit and energy.

“I believe our most important works on this earth are what we can do for others. Being named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador is one of the greatest honors of my life. I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue to shine a light on untold stories of refugees and to work to ensure protection and support for displaced persons around the world,” said Graham, who hails from a Liberian and European-Jewish background. Graham’s ancestors were once refugees themselves, making the refugee cause personal for her.

“It’s not lost on me that if my grandfather had been killed while fleeing for his life, or my grandmother was taken to a concentration camp during the Holocaust, I would not be here today. They were refugees, and I walk with their legacy. During the time of my grandparents, refugees often didn’t have anyone to speak up for them. As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, I pledge to speak up for the refugees of today,” said Graham.

“I’m grateful for the work Kat has done for refugees over the last several years and am truly delighted to welcome her to the UNHCR family as a Goodwill Ambassador,” said Dominique Isabelle Hyde, Director of External Relations for UNHCR. “I have personally witnessed Kat’s dynamism, enthusiasm and commitment to advocating for refugees, and look forward to seeing her inspire others in this role, bringing attention and support to the world’s displaced.”

Graham’s appointment comes at a time when war, conflict and persecution have forced over 80 million people to flee their homes – one per cent of the world’s population – including over 26 million refugees worldwide.

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