Hand in Hand wins AGFUND prize

10 Oct 2019

Hand in Hand Trustee Dr John Barrett accepts the prize at UN headquarters in Geneva, Zwitzerland.

Hand in Hand has won the Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development.

Awarded by AGFUND, the US $400,000 prize recognised a Hand in Hand project in Sarepul Province, Afghanistan that created more than 9,700 microbusinesses and 13,300 jobs.

Hand in Hand’s submission – one of 166 from 78 countries – was selected as winner by a committee that included Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Prize Laureate and founder of Grameen Bank, and Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain. Past winners include BRAC, Habitat for Humanity and the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

“From our board of trustees to our staff in Afghanistan who do such amazing work every day, Hand in Hand is honoured to receive this award,” said Hand in Hand International CEO Dorothea Arndt. “We thank AGFUND, and dedicate this award to each and every one of the 9,712 inspiring women and men of Sarepul Province who joined our project made it such a success.”

Held at the United Nations’ Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the awards ceremony capped AGFUND’s eighth annual development forum, ‘Empowering Women through Financial Inclusion’. Hand in Hand International Trustee Dr John Barrett accepted the award.

“Financial inclusion is crucial – necessary, even – to achieving women’s economic empowerment. But it is by no means sufficient on its own. Business and skills training are also part of the picture, just as linkages to bigger markets and value chains are, too,” Barrett told the crowd. “But if we really want to empower women – that is, if we’re genuine in our commitment to global development – we must tackle head-on the root, enabling cause keeping so many women down: our own norms and attitudes.”

Three smaller prizes were awarded to Kenya’s Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group, Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and Egypt’s Ms. Nawal Mostafa, founder of the Children Female Prisoner’s Care Association.

All proceeds from Hand in Hand’s prize will go towards our programmes in Afghanistan.