The Award is named after Fridtjof Nansen, courageous Norwegian explorer and humanitarian who served as the first High Commissioner for Refugees for the League of Nations. Doctor Evan Atar Adaha received the 2018 Nansen Refugee Award for 20 years of giving medical care to people fleeing Sudan and South Sudan. The South Sudanese Surgeon Awarded the 2018 Nansen Refugee Award
The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award is presented every year to an individual or organization who has dedicated their time going above and beyond the call of duty to help people forcibly displaced from their homes. The 2018 medal was awarded at a dignified ceremony in Geneva on the 1st October.
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Dr. Evan Atar Adaha, who is age 52, is a surgeon and medical director at the only hospital still in operation in Bunj, north-eastern South Sudan. It serves around 200,000 people. The award is in recognition of Dr. Atar’s for his outstanding 20-year commitment in providing medical services to people forced to flee conflict.
South Sudanese Surgeon Awarded the 2018 Nansen Refugee Award
Dr. Atar treats all those in need of care regardless of their background – a commitment that has earned him the respect of refugee and local people alike. His work shows the difference that one person can make, even when facing incredible odds.
Babar Baloch, a representative for UNHCR says that Adaha’s hospital is surrounded by an active conflict area. The doctor provides medical services under very dangerous conditions.
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Around 58 operations each week
Baloch tells that Adaha and his medical team perform around 58 operations each week with limited supplies and equipment. He said the doctor may be called at any hour and sometimes sleeps only one hour each day.
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UNHCR announced four finalists for the 2018 Nansen Refugee Award. These are individuals or organizations short-listed out of more than 450 nominees for the main award and whose work UNHCR wanted to highlight as particularly outstanding:
Samira Harnish (USA) for setting up ‘Women of the World in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her organisation has helped over 1,000 refugee women become self-reliant in the US.
Mayor Andreas Hollstein and the volunteers of Altena, Germany for tireless work in welcoming refugees to their small town – taking in more than their official quota.
Tuenjai Deetes for devoting four decades of her life to ending statelessness in Thailand
Reclaim Childhood from Jordan for 500 empowering refugee girls through sport and building better links with their local communities.
South Sudanese Surgeon Awarded the 2018 Nansen Refugee Award, written by Tor Kjolberg