The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is pleased to announce that the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) – an organization working in more than 35 countries to support people forced to flee – has been selected as the 2022 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize recipient and will receive $2.5 million in funding. As the world’s largest annual humanitarian award presented to a nonprofit, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize recognizes extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering. To date, the Hilton Foundation has awarded more than $41 million to recipients of the Prize. NRC joins the roster of 26 Prize Laureates, including CAMFED, Homeboy Industries, METAdrasi, SHOFCO, icddr,b and The Task Force for Global Health, among others.

Norwegian Refugee Council
Children playing around NRC’s vehicle during a distribution in North Kivu in 2020. The Democratic Republic of the Congo tops NRC’s neglected crises list for the second year running. Photo Credit: Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC

Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, said: “The Norwegian Refugee Council’s work is imperative right now in terms of the organization’s ability to reach people in the most difficult of circumstances, and to do so at scale. The Jury’s selection of the Norwegian Refugee Council as the recipient of the 2022 Hilton Humanitarian Prize recognizes the importance of advocating for displaced people as they build a new future.”

Since its foundation in 1946, NRC has effectively and courageously protected the rights of people who are displaced by violence and find themselves in extreme vulnerability during crisis. NRC works for civilians in armed conflict, prioritizing neglected and hard-to-reach areas where access to assistance is limited, and increasingly supports people displaced by natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change and generalized violence. The organization listens to people in need and collaborates with local organizations and communities to deliver a response that is solutions-orientated and tailored to the context.

NRC currently works in more than 35 countries around the world facing both new and protracted humanitarian crises.This year alone, the organization has mobilized efforts after the earthquake in Afghanistan, during the war in Ukraine and the deepening drought in Somalia to name a few. In 2021, NRC supported 10 million people worldwide. NRC’s work is driven by the needs of displaced people.

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of NRC, said: “We are honored to receive this prestigious humanitarian prize at a time when we are challenged like never before in reaching, aiding and protecting people forced to flee war and repression. We are witnessing one devastating crisis on top of the other, authoritarian regimes and brutal armed actors trying to block our access to those in need and donor purse strings being tightened, leaving aid budgets decimated. This makes the support and recognition from private sector donors such as the Hilton Foundation vital. The world’s displaced must not be overlooked or forgotten.”

Each year, the Hilton Foundation reviews nomination submissions from nonprofits throughout the world, and an independent, international panel of distinguished jurors makes the final selection after a rigorous vetting process. The following individuals served on the 2022 Hilton Humanitarian Prize jury: The Right Honourable Helen Clark, Leymah Gbowee, Steven M. Hilton, Sister Joyce Meyer, Her Majesty Queen Noor, PBVM, Zainab Salbi, Ann M. Veneman, and Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “​​Awarding the 2022 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to the Norwegian Refugee Council is a recognition of their outstanding work with a wide range of stakeholders to ease human suffering. The United Nations values the long experience, skills and networks that the NRC brings to the table, as we work closely together to meet the needs of refugees and displaced people around the world.”

Filipo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said: “I congratulate the Norwegian Refugee Council on winning this year’s Hilton Humanitarian Prize. A long-standing and important partner of UNHCR, NRC is always on the front lines of crises, assisting refugees and other displaced people and making a critical difference to their lives. In a world where more than 100 million people are forced from their homes due to violence and persecution, I am happy to see that the tangible results of NRC’s work are recognised with this important prize.”

After two years of virtual engagements, the Hilton Humanitarian Symposium and Prize Ceremony will resume as an in-person event, under the theme “The Power of Perseverance.”  The Symposium and Prize Ceremony will take place on October 21, 2022, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Nominations for the 2023 Hilton Humanitarian Prize will be open from August 19, 2022, to September 28, 2022.