Dr Amjad Saqib, known for his microfinance programme that helped millions of poor families, has won Asia’s equivalent to the Nobel prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

The microfinance pioneer was one of five recipients of the award, named after a Filipino president killed in a plane crash.

Saqib founded Akhuwat and is its executive director. Nearly two decades after its launch, Akhuwat has grown into the nation’s largest microfinance institution, distributing the equivalent of $900 million and boasting an almost 100 percent loan repayment rate, the award foundation said.

He was cited for “his inspiring belief that human goodness and solidarity will find ways to eradicate poverty”.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in 1957 to honour people and groups tackling development problems.

It was held virtually this year after the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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