Pakistan gets Ramon Magsaysay Award, popularly known as the Asian Nobel Prize.
The Award recognises and honours individuals and organisations in Asia, regardless of race, creed, gender, or nationality, who have achieved distinction and have helped others generously without aiming for public recognition.
The award has been given to over three hundred personalities and organisations in the past five decades. The trustees of the foundation annually select the awardees who are then presented with a certificate and a medal with an image of Ramon Magsaysay. The award is regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.
This award is Asia’s premier prize and highest honour and is presented to outstanding individuals in Asia for their selfless contribution to their societies. Previous receipients of this award include Abdul Sattar and Bilquis Edhi, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama and Novel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
In 2021 Dr. Amjad Saqib, Chairman Akhuwat, has been bestowed this award.
In electing Muhammad Amjad Saqib to receive the 2021 Ramon Magsaysay Award by recognizing the intelligence and compassion that enabled him to create the largest microfinance institution in Pakistan; his inspiring belief that human goodness and solidarity will find ways to eradicate poverty; and his determination to stay with a mission that has already helped millions of Pakistani families.
Akhuwat is the largest microfinance institution in Pakistan, offering a package of loans for the poor. It has distributed 4.8 million interest-free loans amounting to the equivalent of USD 900 million, helping three million families, with a remarkable 99.9% loan repayment rate.
It’s phenomenal growth has fueled Akhuwat’s social support programs in fields like education, where, in partnerships with government and others, Akhuwat has “adopted” hundreds of neglected and non-functioning public schools and established four residential colleges (one of them for women), and soon a university, for poor and deserving students. Akhuwat runs a health services program, helping hundreds of thousands of patients; a “clothes bank” that has distributed more than three million clothes for the needy; and a program of economic, health, and psycho-social services for the discriminated khwaja sira (transgender) community. In the Covid-19 pandemic, Akhuwat responded with emergency loans and grants, food relief, and other assistance in over a hundred cities in Pakistan.