Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


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Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1954

Founded: 1950, Geneva, Switzerland

Role: An international aid organization established by the UN

Prize motivation: “for its efforts to heal the wounds of war by providing help and protection to refugees all over the world”

Prize share: 1/1

Also awarded: The Nobel Peace Prize 1981

The first UN organization to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace

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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'Lost and Found'

Watch the documentary ‘Lost and Found’

The film follows Kamal Hussein, a Rohingya refugee in the world’s largest refugee camp who has dedicated his life to reuniting children with their parents, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This National Geographic Documentary Film is the result of a partnership between the Nobel Prize and Academy Award-winning director Orlando von Einsiedel (‘The White Helmets’).

The video is available all over the world, apart from in the following countries: Spain, Australia, India, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Mauritania, all of the Middle East.