Nansen Refugee Award

Each year, the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award honours individuals, groups and organizations who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect refugees, displaced and stateless people.

Established in 1954, the Award celebrates the legacy of Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian scientist, polar explorer, diplomat and first High Commissioner for Refugees for the League of Nations (1920-1930).

When famine broke out in Russia in 1921-1922, Nansen organised a relief programme for millions of its victims. For his work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.

Winners of the Nansen Refugee Award receive USD 150,000, generously donated by the governments of Switzerland and Norway, to pursue a project to assist displaced people, developed in close consultation with the UNHCR.

For the past few years, finalists from four regions have also been selected for their outstanding humanitarian work and are awarded certificates signed by Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.