Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, president of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), has announced that Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines, will host the 2013 award ceremony of the AGFUND International Prize on Feb. 27.
According to a source from AGFUND, projects competing for the prize award were in the fields of “developing remote and rural communities through ICT and youth empowerment.” Speaking on the occasion, Nasser Al-Kahtani, executive director of AGFUND, declared that the government of Philippines has highly commended Prince Talal’s developmental and humanitarian efforts through AGFUND and the other institutions he sponsors and welcomed the decision to hold the ceremony in Manila.
Al-Kahtani said that the preparations for the ceremony are going ahead and the invitations were extended to representatives from various development organizations, the media and civil society leaders in a number of countries.
He added that Manila will also host the 14th meeting of the AGFUND prize committee to be held on the eve of the award ceremony to approve the winners of the prize in the field of “Food Security for the Poor” and select the prize subject for the 2013.
Past venues for the annual prize ceremony include Geneva, Paris, New Delhi, Tunis, Cape Town, Warsaw, Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur.
The AGFUND International Prize is considered to be an extension of AGFUND’s approach to focus on the key issues of development for sustainable growth through investment in human resources.
Since its inception in 1999, it has received a total of 1062 projects from 130 countries and launched 25 subjects covering a variety of fields including poverty alleviation, water and environmental preservation, rural development, health, education, training, women and child development, youth empowerment, technology and food security.
The prize has honored 42 innovative and pioneering projects with a cash amount of $ 500,000 distributed as follows: First category winners are awarded $ 200,000, whilst the second and third category are given $ 150,000 and $ 100,000 respectively and finally the fourth category is endowed with $ 50,000.
Outlining the objectives of the award, Al-Kahtani said the award aims to support the distinguished efforts of those who strive hard to promote the concepts of human development. It highlights the best practices in development, which seeks to improve the living conditions of the poor and the disadvantaged, with particular emphasis on women and children. It also works to enhance the exchange and dissemination of successful development experiences and finally to develop better mechanisms to solve the problems of poverty and the marginalization of vulnerable groups.
Each year, the prize committee selects the thematic focus for the prize, taking into account issues that are diversified and unique.
The first category of awards goes to projects that are funded, designed and implemented by UN agencies or international and regional non-governmental organizations (NGOs). While the second category of awards focuses on projects that are funded, designed and implemented by national NGOs. In the third category, government and public agency projects are chosen. Finally, the fourth prize classification is awarded to individuals who create groundbreaking development projects.