A Yemeni humanitarian organization has won the prestigious United Nations Nansen Prize for Refugees for its work in assisting people displaced by the years-long conflict in the country.
Hailing the “extraordinary work” carried out by the Jeel Albena Association for Humanitarian Development, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the non-governmental organization (NGO) was “an example of humanity, of compassion and dedication “.
The group, founded by Ameen Jubran in 2017, won the prestigious award “for its unwavering support for displaced Yemenis, even as shifting front lines have brought gunfights and explosions to its doorstep,” the group said. UNHCR.
The award “draws attention to people displaced by conflict in Yemen, a country facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises,” said Grandi.
Jubran, 37, was himself displaced by the fighting and was almost killed, the UN body said.
“The areas where we work are considered to be among the poorest, and also the most dangerous,” Jubran said in the statement.
âWe felt the danger every day but, despite this, we had displaced people and others who needed our help. We couldn’t just leave them behind without providing assistance.
The conflict erupted when Houthi rebels from the Zaidi Shiite minority in northern Yemen entered the capital Sana’a in September 2014, seizing the seat of government.
The rebels allied with military units loyal to their former enemy, ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was forced to resign after a 2011 uprising.
The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives and, according to the UN, is at the root of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Four million people have fled their homes and are in urgent need of protection and assistance, but the conflict and its human suffering have often been overlooked, UNHCR said.
Jeel Albena employs over 160 people and is supported by 230 additional volunteers, many of whom are displaced themselves.
Based in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah, it has provided jobs and around 18,000 emergency shelters to internally displaced people living in informal settlements in Hudaydah and Hajjah provinces.
The organization is also helping displaced women to become self-reliant and renovating schools, benefiting both the local community and displaced populations.
The UNHCR Nansen Prize for Refugees honors individuals, groups or organizations that go beyond the call of duty to protect refugees and other displaced and stateless people.
There have been over 60 global laureates from different countries since the award was established in 1954.
Since 1979, the Nansen Fellows have received $ 150,000, funded by the governments of Norway and Switzerland.