What is expected to be the world’s most valuable humanitarian award, in monetary terms, will be launched in early June in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, it was announced on 5 April.
The Zayed International Humanitarian Award (ZIHA) is the brain-child of the UAE’s deputy prime minister, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is also president of the UAE Red Crescent Authority. Hamdan said the award will build on the legacy of his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, who was the UAE’s first president.
"The father and founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, reached out to all throughout the world to help them overcome suffering caused by disasters, conflicts and turmoil," Hamdan said.
Details of the award, however, will be revealed during the official launch, said Dr Ali Abdullah al-Ka’abi, the president of ZIHA’s board of trustees.
Al-Ka’abi said that the value of the award, which will cover all types of humanitarian work, will run into seven digits in US dollar terms, making it one of the highest amounts in the world for such a prize.
He added that it would be divided into three categories: best individual contribution, best organisation and best project contributing to easing the suffering of the underprivileged around the world. An international panel will be set up to select the winners.
"I am confident of the award's ability to make a positive impact globally in humanitarianism and in the ability of those representing ZIHA to achieve the noble goal of developing projects that support those in need facing difficult circumstances," al-Ka’abi said.