The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) has awarded The Northern Region Water Board with the 2019 Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development (Third Category) for successfully implementing the Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project.

The Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development is awarded annually by the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) with the aim of inciting and encouraging innovation and creativity in human development. The idea of the Prize is stemmed from AGFUND’s approach to enhance development performance and support key development projects in order to achieve the goal of sustainability and investment in people.

The prize is categorized into four categories. The first category involves the nominations of the regional, international, and UN organisations. The second category is for the nominations of the national non-governmental associations. The third category is for the nominations of the Governments and social foundations where Northern Region Water Board falls. The fourth one is for the nominations of the individuals.

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) nominated the Board for the prize and supported by the African Development Bank.

The AGFUND approved 4 winners among 83 projects from 38 countries that competed for the Prize in the field of “Water and Sanitation” the Sixth Goal of the 2030 Agenda. These projects were evaluated by a team of specialized experts where the evaluation process is conducted based on a set of specific criteria.

The third Category Prize (US$ 200,000) that’s specified for projects implemented by national government agencies, public institutions, and social business enterprises was approved for “Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project (IUWSP) for Mzimba Town”, implemented by Northern Region Water Board in Malawi.

The Prize Committee is chaired by HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz and a number of renowned international development leaders representing the world, namely: Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain, representing Europe, Mrs. Mercedes Menafra, former First Lady of Uruguay, representing Latin and North Americas, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, former President of the Islamic Development Bank, representing the Arab region, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Noble Prize Laureate, founder of Grameen Bank, Representing Asia and Dr. Y. S. Abdulai, former Director-General of OPEC Fund for International Development, representing Africa.

Since its establishment in 1999, the prize has been known as AGFUND International Prize for Pioneering Human Development Projects. Following the passing away of His Royal Highness Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, founder of AGFUND, in December 2018, the AGFUND’s Board of Directors decided to rename the prize after the late Prince Talal. This decision was taken to commemorate his lifelong dedication to the service of human development and poverty alleviation through AGFUND and the other institutions he established. Hence, the prize new name is “Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development”.

The Northern Region Water Board will officially receive the award in Geneva in October, 2020.  However, the prize money (USD200,000) will be disbursed earlier to Northern Region Water Board to facilitate implementation of a project of the Northern Region Water Boards choice including fighting the COVID 19 pandemic.