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Tony Blair receives Philanthropist of the Year award from GQ

Philanthropist of the Year Award

Tony Blair received the Philanthropist of the Year Award from GQ on 2 September in recognition of his charity work both at home and abroad .

The award was presented to him by Banke Adetayo, who ran a program for the Faith Foundation to fight malaria in Sierra Leone – a disease which kills 750,000 in the world each year.

Tony Blair dedicated it to the more than 100 staff and volunteers working for the charities he established and said:

"I would like to dedicate this award to the people that work with and for my organisations. When I see people like Banke and their dedication and resilience and drive to make the world better.  I feel the pulse of progress beating a little harder."

Mr Blair has contributed more than £10 million to charity, including significant contributions to the three foundations of which he is Patron and which are today working in 36 countries around the world.

The Africa Governance Initiative, which is providing support to Africa governments to deliver services to improve people’s lives, is now based in six countries. The AGI works in partnership with governments and with those teams living and working in countries alongside their local public servant colleagues.

·         In Rwanda, the AGI has worked with the government to turn around its power sector, so that children can do their homework at night and hospitals can keep essential medicines cold during the heat of the day.

·         In Sierra Leone, AGI has helped to improve the road network and ensure farmers are able to get their goods to market and generate an income which will help lift them and their families out of poverty.

·         In Liberia, President Sirleaf was helped to make the most of the first 150 days after her re-election to try and tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the country. By seizing a window of opportunity she was able to update the country’s energy infrastructure, begin to open up the port of Monrovia and get parts of Liberia connected to the under-sea internet cable off the West African coast.

The Faith Foundation, based in 30 countries, is providing the necessary practical support aimed at preventing religious prejudice, conflict and extremism. Their work includes:

·         A global schools programme to help nurture a generation who are open-minded, at ease with people of all faiths and none and armed with the knowledge to fight against injustice and extremism. It connects more than 50,000 students with their peers all over the world, from countries as diverse as India, Indonesia, Jordan and the USA.

·         A pioneering campaign in Sierra Leone against malaria, where staff  work with religious leaders to give live-saving malaria prevention messages in local communities. More than 2 million people have been reached already.

·         Supporting leaders though a universities network of 31 institutions around the world, to teach and research faith and globalisation.

The Sports Foundation works in the North-East of England, recruiting, training and placing coaches with the aim of creating a legacy of sports participation for the region. More than 3,800 sports coaches have given their time to schools and clubs, helping train young people and strengthening their communities through involvement in sport.

These are personal issues for Mr Blair, who first put Africa on the international agenda at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005, and believes strongly in tackling extremism in all its forms. His charities continue to grow and provide innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, lifting people out of poverty and helping promote peace and prosperity.