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Memorials set for Dr. Annalena Tonelli

Briefing notes

Memorials set for Dr. Annalena Tonelli

10 October 2003

UNHCR will be represented at two memorial services that are scheduled for early next week in honour of Annalena Tonelli, the longtime aid worker in Somalia and this year's Nansen Refugee Award winner who was murdered in Somalia last Sunday. The services will be held in Italy (Monday) and in Nairobi, Kenya, (Tuesday). Working in obscurity, Dr. Tonelli devoted 33 years of her life to helping some of the poorest of the poor, including many refugees and displaced people.

The memorial service in Nairobi, planned for Tuesday morning (10 a.m.), is being organised by the U.N. family, its partners and friends of Dr. Tonelli. UNHCR will be represented by Mr. Anne Willem Bijleveld, our Geneva-based Director of the Division of Communication and Information. Other staff who worked closely with Dr. Tonelli in Borama, north-east Somalia, will also attend. Dr. Tonelli managed a 200-bed hospital for tuberculosis patients and raised awareness about HIV/AIDS and the harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM). The memorial service in Italy is scheduled for Monday evening (1900 hrs) at Tonelli's hometown, Forli in central Italy. UNHCR expects to send a representative to this memorial as well.