NZ aid worker recieves UNESCO Peace prize

Logistician Shaun Cornelius. Photo: Laurin Schmid/

As asylum seekers and refugees embark on fragile boats for a perilous journey on the Mediterranean Sea, New Zealand humanitarian aid worker Shaun Cornelius is committed to lifesaving operations on the Aquarius with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders and SOS Méditerranée.

Logistician Shaun Cornelius is currently working as logistician manager on the Aquarius rescue boat.

Usually based in Wellington, Shaun is on his fourth assignment with MSF. He previously was in Ethiopia, South Sudan and on the Aquarius in 2016. Like him, since early 2017, nine New Zealand aid workers have been working with Doctors without Borders around the world in humanitarian-medical programs.

“I’m honoured to participate to the humanitarian action achieved by the SOS Méditerranée - Aquarius ship. Doctors Without Borders’ primary role is to look after people once they are on board," says Shaun.

"This involves getting them into dry clothing, showering to remove gasoline, providing food, water, toilets and shelter, and of course medical treatment.

As a logistician, I keep all the Doctors Without Borders equipment and structures on board in good working condition," says Shaun.

"This includes the shelter structures, toilets, showers and plumbing, drinking water filters, radios, computers and medical equipment. I am also responsible for the stocks of emergency kits and food we provide to our passengers. I carry out the re-order of supplies’ and I also liaise with the ship’s crew and engineers if repairs or modifications are needed to the ship’s equipment."

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