Announcement: Somalia's Hawa Aden Mohamed awarded 2012 Nansen Refugee prize

Briefing Notes, 18 September 2012

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 18 September 2012, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR is pleased to announce this morning that Hawa Aden Mohamed, the founder and director of the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD) in Puntland, north-eastern Somalia, is the winner of the 2012 Nansen Refugee Award. Hawa Aden Mohamed is a former refugee who chose to return to Somalia in 1995. There, she launched an ambitious education programme to assist people uprooted by Somalia's persistent conflict and recurring droughts. Her visionary work has transformed the lives of thousands of displaced women and girls, who are among the most vulnerable members of Somali society and in many cases are grappling with the trauma of marginalization, abuse and rape.

Hawa Aden Mohamed is being given this award in recognition of her exceptional, tireless and inspiring humanitarian work for Somalia's refugee and displaced girls and women, work performed under incredibly difficult and challenging circumstances.

A few days ago, Hawa Aden Mohamed was hospitalized for surgery. She is recovering, and for this reason her availability for media in connection with today's announcement of the prize is affected. We hope for your understanding. We hope that she will be sufficiently recovered and well to attend the Nansen Award prize ceremony in Geneva, which is scheduled for October 1st.

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