Nansen Refugee Award
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The 2023 Global Laureate is Abdullahi Mire, a journalist and former refugee from Somalia who has championed the right to education while putting 100,000 books in the hands of displaced children and youth in Kenya.
The win is not for me alone. It is for all the volunteers I work with… It is for the children in the schools.
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Abdullahi Mire and several regional winners will come to Geneva to accept their awards at a special ceremony on 13 December 2023.
Meet the 2023 Regional Winners
The 2023 Regional Winners of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award were selected from hundreds of nominees for their outstanding work with refugees, internally displaced and stateless people.
About the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award
Since 1954, more than 60 individuals, groups or organizations have received the Award for their extraordinary service to refugees, displaced and stateless people.
My wish... is that the good examples will set a precedent, and that even more people will feel committed to protecting other people,” she said. “Because as we know, no one leaves their home lightly.
Under Dr. Angela Merkel's leadership, Germany welcomed more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016, at the height of the conflict in Syria and amid deadly violence in other places.
The selection committee said it was recognizing Dr. Merkel’s “leadership, courage and compassion in ensuring the protection of hundreds of thousands of desperate people”, as well as her efforts to find “viable long-term solutions” for those seeking safety.
In her acceptance speech, Dr. Merkel acknowledged the huge efforts made by other countries such as Türkiye, Lebanon and Jordan, which continue to host large numbers of Syrian refugees, many of whom wanted to remain close to their home country.
Dr. Angela Merkel and the regional winners came to Geneva to receive their awards at a ceremony on 10 October 2022. You can watch a recording on YouTube.
Meet the 2022 Regional Winners
The 2022 Regional Winners of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award were selected from hundreds of nominees for their outstanding work with refugees, internally displaced and stateless people.
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Africa Regional Winner: Mbera Fire Brigade
Founded by refugees, this all-volunteer firefighting group in Mauritania has extinguished more than 100 bushfires and planted thousands of trees to preserve lives, livelihoods and the local environment.
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Americas Regional Winner: Vicenta González
Doña Vicenta, a former midwife, has provided nearly 50 years of service to displaced and other vulnerable people in Costa Rica. Along the way, she established a cacao cooperative to support refugees and host-community women, including survivors of domestic violence.
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Asia Regional Winner: Meikswe Myanmar
This humanitarian organization assists communities in need, including internally displaced people, with emergency items, health care, education, and livelihoods opportunities – while striving to build the capacity of local organizations.
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Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Winner: Dr. Nagham Hasan
This Iraqi gynaecologist provides medical and psychosocial care to girls and women who survived persecution, enslavement and gender-based violence at the hands of extremist groups in northern Iraq.