The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) today was awarded the King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Prize for its 50 years of services to Palestine refugees, and its emergency work in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip over the last 13 months.
The prize was presented in Amman to UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan on behalf of the trustees of the King Hussein Foundation, which is chaired by Her Majesty Queen Noor, wife of the late King.
The award recognizes individuals, groups and institutions which have demonstrated exceptional humanitarian leadership in their efforts to advocate for sustainable development, human rights, tolerance, equity and peace.
In granting the award to UNRWA, the Foundation's selection committee cited the Agency's "relentless effort in rendering humanitarian services to Palestine refugees and its tireless efforts in promoting peace in the area."
Accepting the honour, Mr Hansen said the prize came at a time when events in the occupied Palestinian territory had brought the Agency closer than ever to the refugees it served. "I am truly proud of the way our courageous staff members have often risked their lives to go out into the field and provide immediate sustenance to the often frightened refugees," he said. "I am sure the Foundation shares my gratitude for their selfless devotion to duty."
The accompanying $50,000 prize will be used by the Agency for its programme of trauma counselling for children psychologically affected by the recent violence in the occupied Palestinian territory.
UNRWA, which was established by the General Assembly following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, now provides basic services to 3.9 million refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.