Abu Dhabi, UAE: His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, UAE, and Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain honoured winners of the 2016 AGFUND International Prize for Pioneering Development Projects at a grand award ceremony held last evening in Abu Dhabi.
The event was held as part of closing ceremony of the 18th edition of the Microcredit Summit, which was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. It was attended by His Excellency Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Nasser Bakr al-Kahtani, CEO of AGFUND, high level government officials, representatives of the local and international organisations, development experts, diplomats and media representatives.
Commenting on the occasion, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said: “This is the 17th edition of The International Prize for Pioneering Human Development Projects, which proves that this award has truly succeeded in achieving its objectives. I am proud to state that AGFUND has supported 133 countries with more than 1500 projects. This achievement would not have been possible without the continuous support of other GCC countries, especially the United Arab Emirates, with the support of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan (may his soul rest in peace) as he helped us establish this initiative.”
His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development said:
“The focus of this year’s summit reminds us that innovation never ends. Indeed innovations in all fields, including financial markets, are the single most important sources of productivity growth, leading to greater prosperity, peace and happiness in the world.
Today, we celebrate the accomplishments of a remarkable array of outstanding global leaders, influencers, game-changers and innovators, which reaffirms the fact that able, dedicated individuals can and do make a difference. We celebrate Abu Dhabi’s unique position in world markets as it has become an integral part of the global economy. We are very enthusiastic about the possibilities of micro-finance and its role in economic development and we are commitment to give all people and all business ventures the opportunity to reach their full potential. We look forward to more micro-finance related economic progress in the years ahead.”
The 2015 edition of the award is set under the theme “Alleviation of unemployment among youth,” to pinpoint distinguished development experiences in the field of youth empowerment through creation of income resources, improvement of their livelihoods and participation in development of their communities.
Entries were received from United Nations, international and regional organisations, ministries and public institutions, NGOs, universities and research centres around the world. An international committee of renowned international personalities selected the best projects executed in 2015 based on their efforts and contributions to human development.
To date, over US$6 million have been awarded for 53 projects since the inception of the award.
Commenting on this occasion, Nasser Bakr al-Kahtani, CEO of AGFUND said: “The award demonstrates our strong commitment towards charting a new era of sustained prosperity by contributing to the support and funding of poverty alleviation and human development programmes. Through this unique mechanism, AGFUND aims to stimulate workers in various areas, discover the best development projects, and honour those in charge of them, hoping that the creative aspects involved would motivate the implementation of similar projects in other regions.”
2016 AGFUND International Prize for Pioneering Development Projects winners:
1st Prize Winner — Habitat for Humanity Organization
Empowering women in the process of providing eco-friendly and sustainable housing, implemented in Nepal
Prize awarded: $200,000
2nd Prize Winner — Sunbula Association
Heritage Preservation, Product Development and Marketing, implemented in Palestine
Prize awarded: $150,000
3rd Prize Winner — Ministry of Social Development, Bahrain
The Step Program — Home Based Business
Prize awarded: $100,000
4th Prize Winner — Her Highness Princess Nora Bint Mohammed Bin Saud
The Initiatives and Marketing Programs for the Artisans Productive Families Product, implemented upon the initiative and effort of Her Highness Princess Nora Bint Mohammed Bin Saud.
Prize awarded: ($50,000)
AGFUND International Prize is an annual prize awarded by the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND). It aims to honour pioneering development projects in the developing countries and to support sustainable human development efforts, targeting the neediest groups in the developing countries, particularly women and children. The total number of projects nominated for the Prize since its inception are 1,226 projects.
The Microcredit Summit Campaign (the “Campaign”), a project of RESULTS Educational Fund, is a global network of institutions and individuals involved in microfinance and is committed to expanding microfinance to the world’s poorest families and helping them lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The Campaign convenes a broad array of actors involved with microfinance to promote best practices in the field, to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and to work towards alleviating world poverty through microfinance.
The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development was launched in 2007 to help develop local enterprises in Abu Dhabi, with a total capital investment of AED 2 billion. In addition, the Fund aims to create a new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs by instilling and enriching the culture of investment amongst young people, as well as supporting and developing local small to medium-sized enterprises. Khalifa Fund provides integrated and comprehensive programs to meet the needs and requirements of investors seeking to establish or expand investments.
AGFUND (Arab Gulf Programme for Development) established in 1980 upon the initiative of HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, is a regional development organization based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. AGFUND’s main objective is to alleviate poverty through Microfinance and financial inclusion. AGFUND’s efforts have till now yielded with the opening of nine Microfinance Banks namely in Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Palestine, Mauritania, in addition to Sierra Leone. Moreover, AGFUND is expected to expand the frontiers of its initiative’s to include Morocco, Tunisia, the Philippines, Comoros and Senegal. Within its goal to alleviate poverty, AGFUND has built a solid partnership with the Microcredit Summit Campaign since the Summit inception and has actively participated and supported its activities worldwide. In addition, AGFUND supports its targeted groups through an effective, collective effort with its Partners, the United Nations Development Organizations, international and regional organizations, governmental and NGO bodies across the least developed countries.
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