In Its Annual Ceremony, Prince Talal Prize Honors the Clean Water Advocates
Under the patronage of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal Honoring 4 winning projects of the Prince Talal International Prize in “Clean Water and Sanitation”
Queen Sofia: The Prince Talal Prize is a prestigious mechanism for discovering pioneering projects. Abdul Aziz bin Talal: The award is a call for peace against development imbalances. Nasser Alkahtani: The award’s aligned to the sustainable development agenda reflects the depth of the relationship with the United Nations. Nikhil Seth: The development community is grateful to Prince Talal for his pioneering and continuous development and humanitarian programs. Abdulhamid Al-khalifa: The winning projects reflect the required flexible and innovative solutions.
HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz, President of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) and Chairman of the Prize committee said “The Prize is a call of peace against development imbalances in the societies, especially among the poor, by presenting basic issues in development as subjects of competition each year.”
This came in light of the ceremony of the Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development, Wednesday, June 16, honoring 4 pioneering projects that won the award for the year 2019 that’s dedicated to the subject of “Clean Water and Sanitation”. The ceremony was held virtually, in the presence of many representatives of international and national organizations, diplomats, development experts, members of the prize committee, AGFUND board of directors, writers and media professionals. During the ceremony, the first category winner, “Social and Economic Inclusion of vulnerable Urban Communities through Water and Sanitation Service” in Bangladesh was honored with a prize value worth of US$400,000.
The second category winner, “Using solar energy systems to operate drinking water wells” in Yemen, worth US$300,000.
The third category winner “Water and Sanitation project in the city of Mzimba” in Malawi, where the prize worth US$200,000.
The fourth category winner “Clean Water for Rural Ghanaian Villages Led by Women” in Ghana that worth US$100,000.
In her speech, her Majesty Queen Sofia said, “the Prize has become a pioneering mechanism to explore successful human development projects”.
In his speech, HRH Abdul Aziz pledged to move forward with the Prize “We, at the prize committee and AGFUND, always renew our keenness to sustain this credibility and firmness, and to preserve the transparency of the prize, the nomination controls, and the neutrality of evaluation, and all the values and standards that have achieved the prize with global respect and appreciation”. He added “As for the accumulated list of evaluators and winners, it is an important stream, in an effort to reap the utmost of development, so that gains of the prize bring good to humanity.”
The Executive Director of AGFUND, Nasser Alkahtani expressed that “the Prize reflects the depth of the relationship between AGFUND and the United Nations. The relationship that began since His Royal Highness the Late Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, founded AGFUND.” He added “AGFUND’s relationship with the winning projects does not end by the delivery of the Prize. It is an ongoing relationship, as we build and partnerships to transfer their experiences to other communities.”
During his speech, Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNITAR, expressed that “The development community remains grateful to Prince Talal for his pioneering development and humanitarian programmes which continue to support the disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalized groups of our society”, and that “This annual prize is a fitting celebration to honor his legacy that supports sustainable growth through human development. “Focusing on “Clean Water and Sanitation” – the 6th Goal of the SDGs – the Prize is essential for unlocking economic growth and productivity and provide significant leverage in achieving universal health and to prevent the spread of diseases” he said.
Dr. Abdul Hamid Al-Khalifa, Director of the OPEC Fund for International Development, said “The winning projects reflect the required flexible and innovative solutions to contribute to the achievement of SDG 6.” He added “OPEC and AGFUND share a long-standing commitment to making development cooperation as effective and impactful as possible.” The representative of the first category winner Mr. Philippe de Roux said, “Being selected by such a prestigious prize was a real blessing, especially in this period of pandemic when the garment industry suddenly collapsed in Bangladesh, depriving the salaries of more than half of the families in our areas of intervention”.
Ali Bashmakh, Executive Director of the Selah Foundation for Development in the Republic of Yemen, winner of the second category, expressed his gratitude for the Prize and for the humanitarian and developmental role that Prince Talal established saying that “this prize achieved the link of expansion, and development of our projects, where 31 solar energy systems benefited 153,052 people from the most needy and vulnerable groups among the displaced and marginalized.
The Chairman of Northern Region Water Board in Malawi Dr. James Munthali, representative of the 3rd category winner said, “our winning” of the prize is “funded by AGFUND through the Prince Talal International Prize, which has proven effective in helping the local community in Malawi in limiting the spread of diseases, including Covid-19” and that “the Prince Talal Prize has proven to be a lifeline as it helps reduce the spread of diseases in remote communities in many cities in Malawi.”
Kate Cincotoa, CEO and co-founder of Saha Global, representing the 4th category winner “Women-Led Rural Ghanaian Clean Water Project” said “I’d like to thank the Arab Gulf Programme for Development and the Prince Talal Prize for this great honor. We are so grateful for your support”. Keith pointed out that in light of the Corona pandemic, and after winning the prize, the Saha Emergency Water Fund is now providing free clean water to rural families in villages.