The UNHCR has awarded Konstantinos Mitragas (on behalf of the Hellenic Rescue Team) and Efi Latsoudi, a volunteer at the refugee accommodation center at the former PIPKA site on Lesvos the 2016 Nansen Refugee Award for their tireless voluntary efforts to aid refugees arriving in Greece during the refugee crisis.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi explained that “both the Hellenic Rescue Team and Efi Latsoudi refused to stand by as they witnessed the dramatic humanitarian situation unfolding on their shores, and are fully deserving of the Nansen Refugee Award”.
“Their efforts characterize the massive public response to the refugee and migrant emergency in Greece and across Europe, in which thousands of people stood in solidarity with those forced to flee, and the humanity and generosity of communities around the world who open their hearts and homes to refugees” the UNHCR concluded.
The UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award, which was established in 1954, is awarded annually to an individual, group, or organization in recognition of outstanding service to the cause of refugees, displaced or stateless people. The award is named after the Norwegian polar explorer, statesman, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the first High Commissioner for Refugees at the League of Nations, Fridtjof Nansen.