Who we are
“BRAC tackles the causes of poverty, hunger and hopelessness at the root, and plants trees of hope.”
- Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Who We Are
BRAC is a development organisation dedicated to alleviate poverty by empowering the poor, and helping them to bring about positive changes in their lives by creating opportunities for the poor.
Our journey began in 1972 in the newly sovereign Bangladesh, and over the course of our evolution, we have been playing a role of recognising and tackling the many different realities of poverty. We believe that there is no single cause of poverty; hence we attempt tackling poverty on multiple fronts.
Focus on women - BRAC places special emphasis on the social and financial empowerment of women. The vast majority of its microloans go to women, while a gender justice programme addresses discrimination and exploitation.
Grassroots Empowerment - BRAC’s legal rights, community empowerment and advocacy programmes organise the poor at the grassroots level, with ‘barefoot lawyers’ delivering legal services to the doorsteps of the poor.
Health and Education - BRAC provides healthcare and education to millions. Our 97,000 community health workers offer doorstep deliveries of vital medicines and health services to their neighbours. BRAC also runs the world’s largest private, secular education system, with 38,000 schools worldwide.
Empowering farmers - Operating in eight countries, BRAC’s agriculture programmes work with the governments to achieve and sustain food security. This is ensured by producing, distributing and marketing quality seeds at fair prices, conducting research to develop better varieties, offering credit support to poor farmers and using environmentally sustainable practices.
Inclusive Financial Services - BRAC attempts to alleviate poverty by providing the services of its community empowerment programme and targeting the ultra poor programme. BRAC's cumulative disbursement is of almost 10 billion dollars in microloans annually, augmenting microfinance with additional services like livelihood and financial literacy training. Farmers get access to seasonal loans, high quality seeds and technical assistance. Millions now have the freedom to take control of their lives.
Self-Sustaining Solutions - BRAC’s enterprises and investments generate a financial surplus that is reinvested in various development programmes subjected to poverty alleviation.
Thinking local, acting global – Besides Bangladesh, BRAC spreads antipoverty solutions to 10 other developing countries, which are Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Liberia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Unprecedented scale and reach - Today, BRAC reaches an estimated 135 million people with over 100,000 employees worldwide.
What Others Say About BRAC
“BRAC has done what few others have. They have achieved success on a massive scale, bringing life-saving health programmes to millions of the world’s poorest people.” —Bill Gates, co-chair, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
“[Sir Fazle Hasan] Abed’s story proves just how much people with vision and commitment can change the world.” —Bill Clinton, former president of the United States
“BRAC is the most astounding social enterprise in the world.” —Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion
“The billion dollars in microloans that BRAC extends each year to poor people is just the beginning of the story of this remarkable organisation.” —George Soros, chairman of the Open Society Institute
“Through its visionary moves, BRAC has made a huge contribution to social change in Bangladesh and abroad.” —Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate in economics
“By most measures the largest, fastest growing non-governmental organisation in the world – and one of the most businesslike.” —The Economist.
The BRAC Family Today
- 97,000 community health promoters are providing essential healthcare worldwide, with maternal, neonatal and child health services covering 24.5 million in Bangladesh alone
- 1.14 million children are currently enrolled in BRAC’s 38,000 primary and pre-primary schools, and 9.51 million have graduated. BRAC's youth empowerment clubs provide life skills training to more than 260,000 teens from disadvantaged backgrounds
- 5.54 million micro-borrowers with a cumulative loan disbursement of USD 9.73 billion
- 25 million people have access to clean toilets thanks to BRAC’s sanitation entrepreneurs
- More than 600,000 rural poor women being organised through 11,234 Polli Shomaj and 1,217 Union Shomaj; BRAC's 376 popular theatre teams – in Bangladesh only – have reached nearly 4.3 million people.
- 101,222 human rights and legal education graduates and 19,252 local community leaders’ workshop participants