UNHCR Current Affairs - 2020

UNHCR chosen for 2015 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been chosen for the prestigious 2015 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.

The prestigious award has been bestowed on office of UNHCR in recognition of its

  • Immense contributions in assisting millions of refugees in their rehabilitation and resettlement.
  • For working under difficult circumstances to bring about changes in order to reduce the flow of refugees.

UN Refugee Agency was chosen for this edition of award by the international jury of the prize, headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari. It was declared on the occasion of 98th birth anniversary of India’s Iron Lady Indira Gandhi who was first women Prime Minister of India (in office from 1966–1977 and 1980–1984).

About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

  • UNHCR is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
  • Established: December 14, 1950.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Initially it was established to help people displaced by World War II. But later it became the principal agency that has helped displaced persons all over world.
  • Mission: Safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. Seek lasting solutions to the plights of refugees.
  • Awards: It has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, first in 1954 and second in 1981.

About Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development

  • Since 1986, the prestigious award accorded annually by Indira Gandhi Trust.
  • Awarded to: Individuals or organizations in recognition of their creative efforts towards promoting international peace, development.
  • It is also bestowed upon them for creating new international economic order and ensuring that scientific discoveries are used for the larger good of humanity and enlarging the scope of freedom.
  • Award carries: The prize consists of monetary award of 25 lakh and a citation.
  • Some of the awardees: UNICEF (1989), Rajiv Gandhi (1991), M S Swaminathan (1999), Kofi Annan (2003), Angel Merkel (2013) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) (2014) .

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Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi named for 2015 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award

Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi has won the 2015 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award.

As a teacher, she has been recognised for her tireless and brave dedication to educate Afghan refugee girls in the Kot Chandana refugee village in Mianwali, Pakistan by overcoming the struggles of life in exile.

Asifi is a former teacher who fled from Kabul, Afghanistan with her family in 1992 for finding safety in the remote refugee settlement of Kot Chandana in Pakistan.

In the refugee camp she started teaching Afghan refugee girls by overcoming strict conservative cultural traditions which does not allow Afghan women to learn.

About UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award

  • Established: in 1954 by UNHCR. It has been named after the intrepid Norwegian polar explorer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and statesman Fridtjof Nansen.
  • The award recognizes extraordinary humanitarian work and service of an individual, group or organization towards refugees, internally displaced or stateless people.
  • Award carries: Commemorative medal and monetary prize of 100,000 US dollars. The laureate uses the monetary prize to fund a project that complements their existing work.

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