Top UN award for MONUSCO Nepali police officer

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A Nepali peacekeeper serving in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the UN Woman Police Officer of the Year Award.

Superintendent Sangya Malla is one of more than 17 600 personnel attached to the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, as chief of its police health and environment unit. She is based in the capital, Kinshasa.

Malla, a medical professional by training, helped establish the unit, responsible for policies and procedures concerning the health and well-being of personnel as well as UN police environmental initiatives.

Her contributions were – and remain – important during the ongoingCOVID-19 pandemic as well as past Ebola outbreaks and natural and humanitarian crises such as the volcanic eruption in Goma last May. During that emergency, her unit alerted the local population and UN staff of precautionary measures.

“I am honoured to receive this award and I hope it will encourage more young women in my country and around the world to pursue careers in policing, which is still too often viewed as ‘man’s work’,” she said.

Malla will receive the award from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a virtual ceremony tomorrow (Tuesday).

The UN chief praised the Nepali police officer for her work on enhancing safety and welfare for UN peacekeepers by mitigating COVID-19 risks and other threats.

“She represents something far larger — the many contributions of women police officers advancing peace and security around the world. Through her work, Superintendent Malla embodies the best of the UN.”

In DRC Malla helped develop guidance for preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.  She organised more than 300 awareness sessions this year on coronavirus prevention as well as environmental protection for locals population, Congolese authorities and UN staff.

As the MONUSCO police focal point for COVID-19, she also disseminates information on vaccines and promotes vaccination efforts.