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Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2021

Asia’s highest honour - Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2021 was announced on 31 August 2021.

  • Five persons will receive this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award — regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.

Awardees and their Contribution

  • Muhammad Amjad Saqib (Pakistan): He developed a “first-of-its-kind’ interest-and-collateral-free microfinance programme, Akhuwat, which uses places of worship to disburse zero-interest loans, recording a phenomenal loan repayment rate of 99.9 per cent. Akhuwat has taken up a vast array of social support programmes in education, health services, “clothes bank”, anti-social discrimination and Covid-19 emergency aid.
  • Firdausi Qadri (Bangladesh): A Bangladeshi scientist who has been instrumental in discovering vaccines that have saved millions of lives. She is credited with developing affordable oral cholera vaccine and the typhoid conjugate vaccine for adults, children, and infants. Most of her work is focused in congested slum areas of developing countries.
  • Steven Muncy (Southeast Asia): Steven Muncy, from the US, is being recognised for “his unshakable belief in the goodness of man that inspires in others the desire to serve; his life-long dedication to humanitarian work, refugee assistance, and peace building; and his unstinting pursuit of dignity, peace, and harmony for people in exceptionally difficult circumstances in Asia.”
  • WatchDoc (Indonesia): A production house that ingeniously combines documentary filmmaking and alternative platforms to highlight underreported issues in Indonesia.
  • Roberto Ballon (Philippines): Environmentalist from the Philippines is being recognised for “his inspiring determination in leading his fellow fisherfolk to revive a dying fishing industry by creating a sustainable marine environment for this generation and generations to come”.

About the Award

  • Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour.
  • It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the seventh Philippine president - Ramon Magsaysay - after whom the award is named, and is given every year to individuals or organisations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service and transformative influence that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.
  • The Ramon Magsaysay awardees, annually selected by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) board of trustees, are presented with a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay facing right in profile.
  • This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal presentation ceremony to be held on 28 November 2021, at the Ramon Magsaysay Center in Manila.