The Prince of Wales has said he hopes a new fund for women and girls in South Asia will make a real difference to their lives.
Charles announced the 100 million dollar Outcomes Fund at a Buckingham Palace reception and dinner celebrating the achievements of the British Asian Trust.
The event was attended by business leaders, celebrities, donors and Government ministers.
Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall greeted guests at the reception including Tom Singh founder of fashion retailer New Look, film director Gurinder Chadha and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.
Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall greeted guests at the reception including Tom Singh, founder of fashion retailer New Look, film director Gurinder Chadha and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.
Camilla wore a green jewelled kaftan that was a gift from the King of Morocco during the state visit she and Charles made to the country in 2011.
Ms Chadha said Charles was surprised to hear her new musical, Blinded By the Light, which features Bruce Springsteen’s music, is set in Luton.
“He was like ‘Luton?!’ Yes, Luton! We are putting Luton on the international global map! That’s what I do, I fly that flag for British cinema and British films,” she said.
Charles addressed the candlelit ballroom and called the attendees “mehbooba”, an Urdu word meaning my lover or darling.
Over the next five years the Outcomes Fund will aim create a range of new social finance products to fund programmes focusing on women’s economic empowerment and girls’ education.
Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the British Asian Trust, told the Press Association the group “wanted to create an organisation that would have the biggest impact possible in South Asia by galvanising the support of the British Asian community and beyond”.
The trust was founded in 2007 by Charles and a group of British Asian business leaders.
Announcing the new initiative he said: “I am so pleased to be able to announce the British Asian Trust’s most ambitious venture to date, the launch of a 100 million dollar Outcomes Fund that will focus on women and girls across South Asia.
“The British Asian Trust, with its partners, aims to convene these funds over the next five years in order to create a range of new social finance products.”
Thanking the donors and ambassadors Charles said: “I can only say that, as each year passes, it raises my spirits to see the growing impact of the trust.
“What started as a modest initiative has, I am proud to say, flourished into an organisation that has had a positive impact on the lives of so many people and communities right across South Asia.
“The sheer scale of the difference your support makes is something I have seen at first-hand during my travels in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and something I look forward to seeing in Bangladesh.”
Following his speech the guests were served an Indian meal including makhani chicken and bhuna lamb.
They were then treated to a musical performance by Pakistani Qawwali Singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.