UNITED NATIONS - A Pakistani philanthropist and a Belgian human rights defender were Tuesday awarded a prestigious United Nations prize for their work in promoting tolerance and non-violence. Abdul Sattar Edhi of Pakistan and Frantois Houtart of Belgium were awarded the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)-Madanjeet Singh Prize on the unanimous recommendation of an international jury to UNESCO Director-General Konchiro Matsuura, according to an announcement in Paris. They will share the $100,000 prizemoney and receive the award on November 16, the International Day for Tolerance. Dedicated to advancing tolerance in the arts, education, culture, science and communications, the prize was created in 1995 on the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatama Gandhi, with the help of Indian writer and diplomat Madanjeet Singh, who is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. It is awarded every two years to individuals or institutions for outstanding contributions towards its goals. Edhi, one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan through his Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare programme with over 300 centres, received the accolade for life-long efforts to improve the conditions of the most disadvantaged groups in Pakistan and South Asia, and promote human dignity, human rights, mutual respect and tolerance, according to UNESCO press release. His foundation provides the needy with medical aid, family planning, emergency assistance and education, and sets up maternity homes, mental asylums, homes for the physically handicapped, blood banks and orphanages, among other services. Houtart, an promoter of North-South cooperation and founder of the Tri-Continental Centre (CETRI), a non-governmental organization (NGO) renowned for its work on development issues, was honoured for his life-long devotion to world peace, intercultural dialogue, human rights and promotion of tolerance.