United Nations: A Nepalese peacekeeper serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was named the recipient of the 2021 UN Woman Police Officer of the Year.
Superintendent Sangya Malla with the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, is chief of its Police Health and Environment Unit, based in the capital, Kinshasa, reports Xinhua news agency.
Malla, a medical professional by training, helped establish the unit, which is responsible for implementing policies and procedures concerning the health and well-being of personnel as well as UN Police environmental initiatives.
Her contributions have been especially important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, past Ebola outbreaks, and natural and humanitarian crises such as the volcanic eruption in the city of Goma last May.
During that emergency, her unit alerted the local population and UN staff of precautionary measures, according to a press release issued jointly by the UN Department of Global Communications and UN Department of Peace Operations.
"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'," Malla said.
She will be presented with the award by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at a virtual ceremony on November 9.
The UN chief praised the "blue helmet" for her work in enhancing the safety and welfare of UN peacekeepers by mitigating their risks from COVID-19 and other threats.
"And she represents something far larger - the many contributions of women police officers in advancing peace and security around the world," Guterres added.
"Through her work, Superintendent Malla embodies the best of the UN."
Malla helped develop guidance for preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
She has organised over 300 awareness sessions this year on coronavirus prevention as well as environmental protection for the local population, Congolese authorities and UN staff.
As the MONUSCO Police's focal point on COVID-19, she has also been disseminating information about vaccines and promoting vaccination efforts, according to the press release.