Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the Nansen Refugee Award by the United Nations.
Former German chancellor Angela Merkel was today awarded the Nansen Refugee Prize by the United Nations.
The award will be presented to the former German Chancellor on October 10 in Geneva at a ceremony where regional winners will also be honored.
NEWS: Former Federal Chancellor of Germany Dr. Angela Merkel is the global laureate of the 2022 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award. #NansenAward pic.twitter.com/xEgkBjhqfv
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) October 4, 2022
The Nansen Refugee Award “is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the individuals, groups and organizations who dedicate their lives to helping those forced to flee their homes” according to the UNCHR.
Under the leadership of then-Federal Chancellor Merkel, Germany welcomed more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016 – at the height of the conflict in Syria and alongside bloody violence elsewhere.
At the time, the then Chancellor said: “It was a situation that put our European values to the test in a rare way. It was nothing more and nothing less than a humanitarian imperative.” She urged her compatriots in Germany to reject divisive nationalism and instead keep a “spirit of self-confidence and freedom, compassion and an open mind».
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, praised former Chancellor Merkel’s determination to protect asylum seekers and defend human rights, humanitarian principles and international law. “By helping more than a million refugees to survive and rebuild their lives, Angela Merkel has shown great moral and political courage,” said Mr Grandi.
“It was real leadership, which spoke to our common humanity and took a firm stand against those who preached fear and discrimination. It showed what can be achieved when politicians take appropriate action and work to find solutions to global challenges rather than simply shifting the blame to others.”
The award’s selection committee said it was in recognition of former Federal Chancellor Merkel’s “leadership, courage and humanity in ensuring the protection of hundreds of thousands of desperate people”, as well as her efforts to find “sustainable long-term solutions » for those looking for security.
In addition to protecting people forced to flee war, persecution and human rights abuses, the former Chancellor has been a driving force behind Germany’s collective efforts to welcome them and help them integrate into society, through education and training programs, employment programs and integration into the labor market. He was also instrumental in expanding Germany’s resettlement program, which helped protect tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees.
It has also been instrumental in shaping Germany as a substantial, reliable and active humanitarian partner, including in response to the refugee situation around the world. Both her policies and her public statements have been a positive force in European and global debates on asylum and forced displacement crisis management.
The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Prize selection committee also honored four regional winners for 2022:
– In Africa, the Mbera Fire Brigadea volunteer refugee firefighting team in Mauritania that has extinguished more than 100 forest fires and planted thousands of trees to preserve lives, livelihoods and the local environment.
– In America, Vicenta Gonzálezwhich for nearly 50 years has provided services to displaced and other vulnerable people, including establishing a cocoa cooperative in Costa Rica that provides support to the refugee and local women populations, as well as survivors of domestic violence.
– In Asia and the Pacific, Meikswe Myanmara humanitarian organization that helps communities in need, including the internally displaced, by providing emergency supplies, medical care, education and livelihood opportunities.
– In the Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Nagham Hasanan Iraqi gynecologist who provides medical and psychosocial care to Yazidi girls and women who have survived persecution, slavery and gender-based violence at the hands of extremist groups in northern Iraq.
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