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Nansen Refugee Award

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency - Nansen Refugee Award

Nansen Refugee Award

Established in 1954, the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award honours individuals, groups and organizations who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect refugees, as well as internally displaced and stateless people.

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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.

Read more about the 2023 winners.

  • For multimedia content about each of the winners, please visit the media page.

The win is not for me alone. It is for all the volunteers I work with… It is for the children in the schools.

Abdullahi Mire, 2023 global laureate


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The ceremony

Abdullahi Mire and several regional winners came to Geneva to accept their awards at a special ceremony on 13 December 2023.


Watch the ceremony


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.

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Americas: Elizabeth Moreno Barco

This human rights defender and peace builder has spent decades advocating for communities affected by armed internal conflict in Colombia – especially women and children, Afro-descendants, indigenous groups, and internally displaced people.

Read about her impressive work


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Asia-Pacific: Rohingya Storytellers

These four content creators – Abdullah Habib, Sahat Zia Hero, Salim Khan, and Shahida Win – use photography, video, and poetry to share vital information, document the experiences of stateless Rohingya refugees, and share their perspectives with the world.

Read their inspirational story


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Europe: Lena Grochowska and Władysław Grochowski

This Polish couple have marshalled their hotel chain and private foundation to provide shelter and livelihoods training to refugees, including many living with disabilities, and leveraged their influence in the business community to rally support for people forced to flee.

Read about their philanthropic work


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Middle East and North Africa: Asia Al-Mashreqi

This female leader is the founder and CEO of the Sustainable Development Foundation, which has provided humanitarian assistance to nearly 2 million individuals in Yemen, including refugees, returnees, internally displaced people, and host communities.

Read about her extraordinary work



Since 1954, more than 60 individuals, groups or organizations have received the Award for their extraordinary service to refugees, displaced and stateless people.