His Majesty King Abdullah II Patronizes Ceremony To Award The King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Prize.

14 November 2001

His Majesty King Abdullah II, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and Queen Noor Al-Hussein, awarded on Wednesday at the Hashemite Royal Court a humanitarian prize to the U.N. agency that cares for Palestinian refugees.

His Majesty presented the King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Prize to Peter Hansen, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The prize recognizes individuals, groups and institutions that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for sustainable development, human rights, tolerance, equality and peace.

Candidates for the award, which is given annually on Hussein`s birthday on Nov. 14, are selected by a foundation established in 1999 and chaired by Her Majesty Queen Noor.

UNRWA was founded in 1948 to look after the Palestinians displaced in the first Arab-Israeli war. Since then, it has been providing educational, health, relief and social services to some 3.8 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In a speech at the ceremony, Queen Noor said UNRWA deserved the award because of its assistance to Palestinian children suffering from terrorism daily.

"King Hussein believed with passion in the power and potential of young people to change the world," she said. ؟That`s why it is particularly fitting that this award will benefit Palestinian children traumatized daily by violence."

In response, Hansen, a Dane who has led UNRWA since 1996, said the money would boost his agency`s humanitarian effort, especially in dealing with psychologically traumatized Palestinian children.

The King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Prize was first awarded last year when it went to Muhammad Yunus, the founder and creator of the Grameen Bank, a micro-finance project that helps low income people in Bangladesh.