On Tuesday, Muhammad Amjad Saqib, a microfinance pioneer from Pakistan who created an interest-free microfinance program to help underprivileged families in the nation, was named one of the winners of Asia’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize.
The 64-year-old received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his “first-of-its-kind” interest- and collateral-free microfinance program, which helped thousands of low-income households.
According to the award foundation, Saqib founded the Akhuwat microfinance institution in 2001, and after nearly two decades, the non-profit organization (NGO) has become the nation’s largest microfinance institution, distributing the equivalent of $900 million and boasting an almost 100 percent loan repayment rate.
Saqib, who distributes money at places of worship, was recognized for his “inspiring confidence that human kindness and unity would discover solutions to overcome poverty.”
Amjad Saqib told a private news source today that he plans to spread his work to every region of Pakistan. “Our job will not be over until there are no underprivileged people in Pakistan who do not have a roof over their heads.” Amjad stated, “We will take our efforts to other nations as well.”
The Ramon Magsaysay Award, named after a Filipino president killed in an aircraft disaster, was created in 1957. This award is given to individuals and organizations working to address global development issues.
Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, congratulated Saqib on receiving “Asia’s greatest accolade.” The premier stated in a tweet on Tuesday, “Have been told this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s highest award, has been granted to a Pakistani, Dr. Amjad Saqib, Founder Akhuwat.” Congratulations, sir.”
“We are pleased with his accomplishment as we go forward in establishing a welfare state based on the Riasat-e-Madina Model,” Imran Khan remarked.