Manila, 1 September 2021 (TDI): Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib, a Pakistani microfinance pioneer, has been selected as one of five recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Asian counterpart of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021. Muhammad Amjad Saqib is recognized for his “first-of-its-kind” interest- and collateral-free microfinance program, which helped thousands of low-income families.
The prize foundation stated that over two decades after its inception, Akhuwat — established by Dr. Saqib — has developed into the nation’s largest microfinance organization, distributing the equivalent of $900 million and boasting an almost 100% loan payback record. Saqib, who distributes money at places of worship, is honored for his inspiring confidence that human kindness and unity would discover solutions to overcome poverty.
Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated Saqib on receiving Asia’s greatest honor, saying that the Pakistani people are proud of his accomplishment in moving on with the creation of a welfare state based on the Riyasat-e-Madina Model.
The other 2021 Ramon Magsaysay winners are Filipino fisherman, community environmentalist Roberto Ballon, Bangladeshi scientist Firdausi Qadri, Steven Muncy who aids Southeast Asian displaced refugees, and Indonesian production firm Watchdoc.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award, known as Asia’s leading prize and highest honor, is presented yearly to exceptional organizations and people who have exhibited selfless devotion to communities across the continent. The prizes will be given out on November 28th.