Borama-based Italian woman wins UNHCR award for work with Somalis
NAIROBI, 16 APRIL 2003 (IRIN) - The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has named an Italian woman as the winner of its annual humanitarian award for her work with displaced Somalis.
A UNHCR statement said Annalena Tonelli won the Nansen Refugee Award, "given to individuals or organisations that have distinguished themselves in work on behalf of refugees".
The statement quotes Commissioner Ruud Lubbers as saying the selection committee had chosen 60-year-old Tonelli "in recognition of her selfless dedication in the service of the Somali community, the majority of them returned refugees and displaced people".
Tonelli, who currently runs a 200-bed hospital in Borama, in the self-declared republic of Somaliland, has worked in Somalia for the last 33 years. She has set up clinics to fight tuberculosis, and raised awareness about HIV/AIDS and the harmful effects of female genital mutilation, the statement said.