U.N. Association of Santa Barbara to present award on Monday
The United Nations Association of Santa Barbara will award its 2022 Peace Prize Monday to ShelterBox USA — a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit known for its disaster relief work in Ukraine and around the world.
The U.N. Association will present the award to Kerri Murray, the ShelterBox USA president, during a ceremony set for 5-6:30 p.m. at Pascucci Santa Barbara, 509 State St. Tickets include appetizers and wine and beer and are available at unasb.org.
ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth and dignity following more than 300 disasters in more than 100 countries since 2000. The nonprofit responds to earthquakes, volcano eruptions, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis and wars by delivering boxes of essential shelter, aid and other lifesaving supplies.
Each green ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, a water filtration system, emergency lighting and other tools for survival. ShelterBox was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 and 2019.
ShelterBox’s current deployments include Ukraine and East Africa. ShelterBox quickly established three programs in Ukraine in response to the invasion by Russia. The first provided mattresses to collective centers such as churches, schools and sports arenas in western Ukraine where thousands fled. The second provided “ShelterKits” that includes tarps and tools for those sheltering in damaged homes in central Ukraine.
The final program provided cash and hygiene items to refugees who fled the country through Moldova. ShelterBox is currently assessing its next program in Ukraine, which will likely focus on providing materials to help endure the coming cold winter.
In eastern Africa, ShelterBox is responding to the drought by seeking to help 12,000 people with shelter and other aid in Ethiopia. ShelterBox has supported more than 60,000 people in four responses in Ethiopia since 2018. It is also launching another program in neighboring Somalia to help 1,000 households.
ShelterBox also has ongoing programs in Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria and Syria.
“It is with deep gratitude that ShelterBox USA accepts this award,” Ms. Murray of ShelterBox USA said in a statement. “This recognition speaks to our highest aspirations of a world where no one goes without shelter after disaster or conflict. Today more than 114 million people are displaced in our world, more than any time in recorded history. Whether responding to the crisis in Ukraine, drought-induced famine in eastern Africa or catastrophic emergencies like typhoons in the Philippines, ShelterBox remains committed to providing life- saving shelter, tools and training to enable the most vulnerable people to rebuild their homes after disaster.
“But we can’t do this work alone,” Ms. Murray said. “We are so grateful to the United Nations Association of Santa Barbara, as well as our volunteers and staff across the world, whose quiet acts of courage and compassion make this work possible.”
Those attending Monday’s awards ceremony will be given a copy of “Prophet the Hatmaker’s Son, The Life of Robert Muller.” Mr. Muller is recognized as one of the peacemakers of the 20th century, who dedicated his life to the United Nations, where he served as assistant secretary general.