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Every year, UNHCR holds several special events to recognize the lives of refugees and those who are dedicated to helping them. Our two blue ribbon events are World Refugee Day and the Nansen Refugee Award.
World Refugee Day
First marked in 2001, World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20. Tens of thousands of people around the world take time to recognize and applaud the contribution of forcibly displaced people throughout the world. The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves.
The Nansen Refugee Award
This annual award is named after the late great Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who was appointed in 1921 by the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations, to be the very first High Commissioner for Refugees. The Nansen Award, consisting of a medal and a US$100,000 monetary prize, is given out every year in October to a person or group for outstanding services in supporting refugee causes.