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Award for Khalil Dale is testament to the lives he changed

26 January 2013

Khalil Dale, a British Red Cross aid worker who was abducted and killed in Pakistan last year, has won a humanitarian award.

On January 26 Khalil was honoured with the 2013 Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, after a lifetime of work in some of the world's most dangerous places.

Khalil's brother Ian Dale said: "Khalil very much saw himself as someone who just got on with his job, wherever that happened to be. He would have been very humbled by this accolade, which is testament to the lives he changed and the legacy he leaves behind.

“Khalil was loved and respected by many people. I am extremely proud my brother – and the work he carried out over many years to make a difference for others – has been recognised in such a wonderful way.”

MBE for aid work in Somalia

Khalil, who was born in Manchester but grew up in Dumfries, worked as a casualty nurse and oil rig medic before joining the Red Cross in 1981. His work took him to countries including Kenya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan.

In war-torn Somalia Khalil was responsible for food distribution, healthcare and development projects which brought relief to tens of thousands of people. His work in the country saw him receive an MBE in 1994.

In 1998 Khalil returned to Dumfries to care for his mother, where he worked as a nurse and for mental health and addiction charity Turning Point Scotland.

But in 2011 he joined a Red Cross programme in Quetta, Pakistan, providing healthcare and physical rehabilitation to people wounded in conflict. He was abducted in January 2012, and found dead four months later.

‘Making the world a better place’

Khalil's family have donated the award's £1,800 prize to the Khalil Dale Memorial Fund, which will be used by the Red Cross to tackle disasters in countries connected to Khalil.

The award was founded in 2002 and recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole.


David Anderson, chair of the judging panel, said: “It’s clear from the accolades and tributes from those who knew him that Khalil touched the lives of everyone he ever met. Khalil was a true humanitarian and his legacy lives on thanks to the Khalil Dale Memorial Fund which will be used to do exactly what he set out to do every day of his life – make the world a better place.”

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