The Nobel Peace Prize 1954
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Founded: 1951 in Geneva, Switzerland
Role: An international aid organization established by the UN
Field: humanitarian work
The prize to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) followed in the tradition of rewarding humanitarian work in the spirit of Fridtjof Nansen. A second purpose was to show support for the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. At the same time, the Nobel Committee wanted to draw the world's attention to the fact that international aid work for refugees was in danger of a financial crisis, because UN member countries had not granted enough funding for the purpose. The 1954 Peace Prize was thus an appeal to all the world's governments to give more financial support to a vulnerable group.
In the first half of the 1950s, the highest numbers of refugees were to be found in Western Europe and the Middle East, and the UNHCR concentrated its aid on three kinds of measure: voluntary repatriation to one's country of origin, emigration, or permanent residence in the countries where the refugees were at the time.
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