Spanish NGO wins top humanitarian prize
Spanish humanitarian organisation Manos Unidas was on Wednesday awarded the prestigious Prince of Asturias Concord prize for "helping millions of people worldwide" to improve their living conditions.
The Catholic non-governmental organisation "fights against under-development, illness, oppression, lack of education and hunger," the jury said.
"In its 50 years of history, Manos Unidas has done significant humanitarian and social work ... helping millions of people worldwide to access education and health services, thus improving their living conditions."
Manos Unidas, which translates as Hands United, has "supported around 25,000 projects in more than 64 countries in Asia, Africa, America and Oceania."
Eight Prince of Asturias prizes, each worth 50,000 euros are awarded annually in categories such as arts, scientific research, sports, letters and humanities.
The Concord prize goes to persons or institutions who have made "an exemplary and outstanding contribution to mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence amongst men, to the struggle against injustice, poverty, disease or ignorance ... or has been outstanding in protecting and preserving mankind's heritage."
Last year's Concord prize went to the city of Berlin, the "symbol of Europe's reunification."
Other past winners include Jerusalem's Holocaust Museum, the UN Children's Fund UNICEF and J.K. Rowling, the British author of the Harry Potter books.
Named after Spain's Crown Prince Felipe, they are presented each year in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, capital of the Asturias region.
© 2010 AFP