Greek NGO Metadrasi wins world’s largest humanitarian prize

Metadrasi, a Greek NGO which helps facilitate the reception and integration of refugees and migrants in the country, has been awarded the prestigious $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

“Metadrasi is a remarkable example of a nimble organization that leads the charge in areas where essential services are lacking,” said Conrad N. Hilton Foundation President and CEO, Peter Laugharn.

“Their belief that migrants and refugees are a valuable part of our shared future and our shared humanity, embodies the spirit of the prize and the work of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation,” he said.

Metadrasi, which is primarily focused on providing interpretation services and protecting unaccompanied children, was founded in 2010 by Lora Pappa, now president and CEO. The nonprofit has since carried out more than 1.4 million interpreting sessions and supported more than 12,000 unaccompanied minors.

The organization will receive $2 million in unrestricted funding, joining the list of 23 previous organizations that have received what is the world’s largest humanitarian prize including, most recently, SHOFCO, icddr,b, the Task Force for Global Health and Landesa.

“This prize reaffirms the spirit of solidarity which is shared by so many citizens in Europe, in the United States and beyond,” Pappa said about the award.

“It means that the international community is paying attention to the magnitude and the gravity of the complex humanitarian challenges that emerge from the management of mixed refugee flows. It recognizes the work of the grassroots, everyday efforts which are being taken to tackle those issues with innovation and practicality,” she said.

Metadrasi will be honored at this year’s Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Symposium and Prize Ceremony, which will take place at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on October 18. The theme of this year’s symposium is “The Future of Humanitarian Action: Seeking Higher Ground.”

UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, estimates that over 80,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece, of which over 4,100 are unaccompanied children.