Angela Merkel wins UN prize for helping refugees
Geneva, Oct 4 (EFE).- Germany’s former chancellor Angela Merkel has been awarded the 2022 Nansen Refugee Award, the highest award allocated by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).
Merkel’s policies saw Germany take about 1.2 million asylum seekers and refugees between 2015-16 during the peak of the migrant crisis in Europe as the Syrian war roared on.
Merkel defended her decision by saying that Europe was facing a situation that tested its values and she confronted nationalist arguments against the move, which she described as an “humanitarian imperative.”
According to the UNHCR, Merkel’s leadership also gave global visibility to the suffering of forcibly displaced people.
Filippo Grandi, the agency’s high commissioner, praised Merkel’s determination to protect the victims of war and persecution, and defend human rights.
“It was true leadership, appealing to our common humanity, standing firm against those who preached fear and discrimination,” he said.
“She showed what can be achieved when politicians take the right course of action,” he added.
The award is named after Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian scientist and explorer who served as the first high commissioner for Refugees at the League of Nation — predecessor of the UN.
He is known for his work on behalf of the displaced victims of World War I.
Merkel is to receive the prize at Geneva on October 10. EFE