Else Kröner Fresenius Stiftung

Press release

Else Kröner Fresenius Prize 2017 goes to PHASE Austria

Commitment to mother-child health in Nepal commended

Awardee Brita Pohl, Copyright: Inga Kjer/Photothek
From left: Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary, Horst Köhler, former Federal President, Brita Pohl, awardee, Dr. Dieter Schenk, Chairman of EKFS Foundation Board, Dr. Carolin Kröner, EKFS Foundation Board member, Thomas Honzen, Foundation Board member, Prof. Dr. Michael Göring, Chairman of the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen, Copyright: Inga Kjer/Photothek

Berlin/Bad Homburg, November 2017 – The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS) is awarding this year’s Else Kröner Fresenius Preis für Medizinische Entwicklungszusammenarbeit to the PHASE Austria association. The EKFS is awarding the prize in recognition of the association’s programme for improving mother-child health care in West Nepal.

The prize, which is endowed with a sum of €100,000, was presented in Berlin at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the presence of former Federal President Horst Köhler and the Chairman of the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen [Association of German Foundations], Michael Göring. Speaking at the ceremony, Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn said: “With its commitment to better medical care for mothers and infants in extremely remote regions of Nepal, the winner has been doing magnificent work over the past decade.”

PHASE sends medical professionals to Nepal, guides them with regular supervision, and also improves equipment and the range of medicines available there – all with a clear focus on the health of mothers and their children. Although the Himalayan region has made progress in this area on the whole, the maternal and child mortality rate in the north west of the country remains very high.

“The employees of PHASE Austria have devoted themselves to creating a stable health care system for mothers and children in Nepal. And that not only deserves respect and attention, but it must be supported,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Göring in his laudatory speech. “Civil society is called upon to find solutions for the diverse challenges of the present and the future,” continued Göring.

Even more beseeching then is the speech of former Federal President Horst Köhler on the subject of  the awakening of Africa’s youth: the underestimated challenge for humanity: “The current period of unrest and conflict in world politics, the debates on migration, terrorism, democracy, etc., all give us a premonition of what the enormous demographic shifts mean for global harmony – culturally, economically, politically.” The way Köhler sees it, the industrialized nations are being called upon to address the future prospects of the African youth as if it were their own responsibility.

The seriousness of the global imbalance that persists, particularly in the area of health care, was highlighted by Dr. Carolin Kröner, member of the EKFS Managing Board, based on data and facts. “Even though the global child mortality rate has been reduced by around half over the past 25 years, as many as 16,000 children under the age of five were still dying every day in 2015, from causes that are actually trivial and preventable, such as diarrhoeal diseases,” says Kröner.

The Foundation has been awarding a prize for particularly exemplary medical humanitarian projects in developing countries for several years now – projects that stand out due a high level of personal commitment and sustainable aid on site. The prize, one of the most prestigious awards in Germany in the field of development cooperation, is generously endowed and is used directly for the project to sustainably advance medical care in the poorest countries of the world, as was the mission of the Foundation’s founder, Else Kröner.

Notes for the editorial offices

Prize: Else Kröner Fresenius Preis für Medizinische Entwicklungszusammenarbeit 2017

Awardee: PHASE Austria association – Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment.
 Praktische Unterstützung für nachhaltige Entwicklung Vienna, Austria

Project: Programme for the improvement of mother-child health care in Mugu, West Nepal  

About the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung

The foundation was set up by entrepreneur Else Kröner in 1983, and was appointed sole beneficiary of her estate upon her death. The non-profit Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung is dedicated to promoting medical research and supports medical-humanitarian projects. The EKFS receives almost all of its income from dividends from healthcare group Fresenius, where it is the largest shareholder. In accordance with its statutes, the foundation only supports research projects whose results are accessible to the general public. To date, the foundation has funded more than 1,650 projects totalling around 300 million euros. (www.ekfs.de) 


Dr. Ulrike Schneider
Director Communications

Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung
Postfach 1852
61352 Bad Homburg

Tel.: +49 6172 897510
E-Mail: u.schneider@ekfs.de