Gas-rich Qatar has awarded a half-million dollar prize to a Bangladeshi for his role in fighting poverty through education, the Qatar Foundation chaired by the emir's wife said on Wednesday. "Fazle Hasan Abed has been awarded the first WISE Prize for Education in recognition of his 40-year career dedicated to alleviating poverty through education," it said in a statement. Abed, 75, dedicated his career to easing poverty through education, founding a non-governmental organisation, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, which has 120,000 members. The WISE Prize, launched by the Qatar Foundation in December 2010, awards individuals or teams for their contribution to education. The winner receives a gold medal in addition to $500,000. The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development was established in 1995 and is chaired by Sheikha Moza, wife of Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. The foundation runs an "Education City" which is home to branches of several US universities including Georgetown. The small emirate of Qatar has set its sights on becoming a regional centre for education, culture and sport.