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Monday, 01 November 2010 18:00

Inter College Debate Competition-2010, Dhaka

02 November 2010, Dhaka. Today’s student is tomorrow’s leader. They can immensely contribute for the development of the country. Realising their potential BRAC Advocacy Unit seeks to mobilise Youth Groups in favour of the Ultra Poor. With a view to informing the students about the poverty situation and the ultra poverty scenario of Bangladesh and to sensitise them to take constructive initiatives for poverty reduction, the Advocacy Unit regularly organises Quizzes, Seminars and Debates from the grassroots to the national level. As a part of national level campaign we are going to organise ‘Inter College Debate Competition 2010, Dhaka’ on the ultra poverty issue from the 2nd of November  to the 8th of November, 2010 at Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 16 renowned colleges from the city are going to Participate in this event. Some active members of Dhaka University Debating Society (DUDS) are helping us to organise this event. The opening ceremony will be held on the 3rd of November, 2010 and the closing session will commence on November 08, 2010. For the occasion we organised a Press Conference at the Auditorium of Asiatic Society on November 02, 2010. Thirty reporters from both electronic and print media were present there. We strongly believe such involvement in a national agenda like Ultra Poverty will engage the students as ambassador of social change both at family and community level.

Right To Know Celebrated by Advocacy Unit

29 September 2010, Dhaka. With a vow to raise awareness of individuals` right to access government information and to promote access to information as a fundamental human right, BRAC Advocacy Unit celebrated the ‘International Right to Know Day’ on September 28, 2010 as an active member of ‘Right to Information –RTI Forum’.

BRAC strongly believes that the right to know is every individual’s fundamental human right. As a manifestation of that belief BRAC Advocacy Unit celebrated the day both at District and Upazilla level in collaboration with the RTI Forum. The activities of celebration included rallies, discussion sessions, seminars, melas and cultural programs in 27 districts and 84 Upazillas throughout the country.
 

22 September 2010, Dhaka. Today at the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit Special Event on the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, BRAC founder and chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed pledged to mobilize $700 million over the next five years to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing child and maternal mortality and saving the lives of millions of the worlds most vulnerable in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Haiti.

“Over the last few years, BRAC’s health program in Bangladesh has generated significant reductions in maternal and neonatal mortality,” said Sir Fazle. BRAC has been providing support to pregnant women in rural Bangladesh and more recently in urban Bangladesh with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “We want to improve women’s and children’s health not only to reach the MDGs by 2015 but to exceed them,” said Sir Fazle.

Every year, 8 million children die preventable deaths – 3.2 million die less than a month after they are born – and 500,000 women die in childbirth in the world’s poorest countries.   The UN’s latest figures demonstrate progress is being made:  the number of child deaths per day has declined to 22,000 - 12,000 fewer per day than in 1990.  Nonetheless, only 9 of 64 countries with the highest mortality of children under 5 are on track to meet their goals for reducing child deaths by 2015.

Sir Fazle said, “Guided by the conviction that all lives have equal value, we must do all we can to stop the unnecessary deaths of mothers and babies.  We can harness the advances in science and technology to save lives – not just in rich countries – but everywhere.”

MEDIA CONTACTS

USA:
Michelle Chaplin:    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    1 212 808 5615

Bangladesh:
Pushpita Alam:    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ABOUT BRAC (formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee)
BRAC, the largest non-profit in the developing world, was launched in Bangladesh in 1972 and currently touches the lives of more than 138 million people through its programs addressing poverty including micro-loans, education, health services, self-employment opportunities and human rights education. BRAC has provided $6.7 billion in micro-loans to nearly eight million borrowers, mostly women, and created 9 million self-employment opportunities. BRAC’s 84,000 community health promoters have provided basic health services to nearly 100 million people. Currently, BRAC has programs in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda.  For more information, please visit www.bracusa.org.

22 September 2010, Dhaka. BRAC won the prestigious ‘Communication for Sustainable Social Change’ (CSSC), University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2010 Award in recognition for the organisation’s outstanding contributions in the field of Communication for Social Change, especially in the arena of Advocacy and Gender Equality. This annual award acknowledges BRAC’s innovative Advocacy process for sustainable development.

BRAC Advocacy Unit’s exclusive and innovative social communication process and GQAL project of Gender Justice and Diversity Section has paved the way for BRAC to gain this honor. Jogajog Forum (Communication Forum), Migration Forum and Gender Justice educator are  a few very exclusive examples of BRAC’s Commitment to long-term Sustainable Social Change.

Communication for Sustainable Social Change (CSSC) is an independent organisation created as a “Centre of Excellence” within the College of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the flagship school of the state’s five campus university system.

This Award is given annually to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the “theory and practice of Communication for Sustainable Social Change (CSSC)”. The winners are selected by an independent jury consisting of senior academics, media and aid and development representatives. BRAC will be announced as the 2010 Communication for Sustainable Social Change Award winner during CSSC’s first anniversary celebrations on September 21, 2010 in the studios of Amherst Community Television.

17 September 2010, Dhaka. Almost 21 million people are now reported as having been directly affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan.  With 23 out of 94 BRAC Pakistan’s microfinance branches affected by the flooding, BRAC is close to the people and communities that have been suffering as the disaster began to unfold in July.

“The rains started on July 28th and within the weekend 9 out of 12 of our microfinance branches were flooded,” said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC.  He noted that “As a NGO that originated in Bangladesh, we are very familiar with floods and cyclones. We have worked on emergencies for many years.  In Pakistan BRAC started relief work immediately. People had lost everything and they needed us to help them.”

BRAC Pakistan launched relief efforts using its institutional knowledge of emergency relief, and its network of community volunteers to identify and provide support to communities in greatest need benefiting over 200,000 people.

As the flood waters recede, rebuilding the lives of those who have most suffered will be the primary focus of the BRAC partnership with the American Pakistan Foundation.

Mr. Awais Khan, CEO of the American Pakistan Foundation, said “We want to ensure that people recover their assets and their ability to earn an income so they can regain their dignity. We are confident that our partnership with BRAC is a great step towards this recovery effort.”

The American Pakistan Foundation will be supporting BRAC, through its U.S. affiliate BRAC USA, to start livelihood recovery efforts across three districts in the Khyber Pakhtunwa province of Pakistan. The program will enable 200 households, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized, who have been completely devastated by the disaster, to recover their assets and livelihoods.

Susan Davis, President & CEO of BRAC USA, stated that “BRAC is committed to working with the flood affected communities and for Pakistan’s development.”  She said, “We are very pleased to partner with the American Pakistan Foundation, because of its deep and long term commitment to the country.”  Ms. Davis added that “BRAC USA encourages people to join this partnership and text BRAC to 20222 to give $10 through their cell phone.  We hope to work together to mobilize wider support and empathy for the plight of those suffering from conflict and disaster, and generate greater action.”

 

About BRAC
BRAC, the largest non-profit in the developing world, was launched in Bangladesh in 1972 and currently touches the lives of more than 138 million people through its programs addressing poverty including micro-loans, education, health services, self-employment opportunities and human rights education. BRAC has provided $6.7 billion in micro-loans to nearly eight million borrowers, mostly women, and created 9 million self-employment opportunities.  BRAC’s 84,000 community health promoters have provided basic health services to nearly 100 million people. Currently, BRAC has programs in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda.

BRAC began operations in Pakistan in 2007 through a microfinance program. It serves over 106,000 members in 94 branches.  It has cumulatively disbursed $18 million in loans averaging $161 and has loans outstanding of $7.7 million.  In addition to microfinance, BRAC now operates programs in health and education. Through its almost 1,000 staff, BRAC is currently serving about 437,465 people in 14 districts across four provinces.

BRAC USA is a 501(c)3 affiliate in New York.  To learn more about BRAC, please visit www.bracusa.org.


About American Pakistan Foundation
Founded and led by Pakistani-Americans and friends of Pakistan at a critical moment in Pakistan's history, the American Foundation (APF) is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the social and economic condition of the people of Pakistan APF's mission is to expand development initiatives in education, public health, social entrepreneurship and poverty-alleviation with a vision to advance mutual understanding between the peoples of the US and Pakistan. APF is a focused effort on developing a secure and transparent channel for effectively mobilizing greater public and private resources from the Pakistani Diaspora and friends of Pakistan to expand the most credible and effective programs dedicated to Pakistan's social and economic development.

For more information, please visit www.americanpakistan.org.


Media Contacts

BRAC
Susan Davis
President & CEO
BRAC USA
1 212 808 5615
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Awais Khan
President and CEO
American Pakistan Foundation
1 646 430 8272
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement continues to gain momentum today with the convening of 27 leaders committed to advancing the strength and security of nations by improving maternal and child nutrition. This influential group, appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to represent the many countries, organizations and sectors working to improve nutrition, will serve as strategic guides for this global Movement.

“Never before have so many leaders, from so many countries and fields, agreed to work together to improve nutrition,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Scaling Up Nutrition Movement gives all of us, including the UN, an opportunity to support countries in their efforts to end hunger and malnutrition.”

The members of the Lead Group include Heads of State from countries that have prioritized efforts to scale up nutrition, as well as representatives of the donor, civil society, business and UN system organizations that are aligning resources to help SUN countries drive progress. Members of the Lead Group are listed below: additional Members may be invited to join later.

The Group’s role is to ensure that the countries at the heart of the Movement are supported as they work to create tangible and sustainable improvements in nutrition. In addition to providing strategic oversight, the Lead Group will help to mobilize support and strengthen both coordination and accountability within the Movement. Twenty-seven countries have chosen to join the SUN Movement so far, with more set to join in the coming months.

Scaling Up Nutrition, or SUN, is a global push for action and investment to improve maternal and child nutrition. Evidence shows that proper nutrition during the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday gives children a healthy start at life. Poor nutrition during this period leads to irreversible consequences such as stunted growth and impaired cognitive development.

Improving nutrition is a precondition to achieving goals of eradicating poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating disease—which all contribute to a stronger future for communities and nations.

“It is time to recognize nutritional status not only as a marker of progress in development, but also as a maker of progress – and a key to more sustainable development. We must invest now in programmes to prevent stunting or risk diminishing the impact of other investments in education, health and child protection,” said Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, who has been appointed by Secretary- General Ban to chair the Lead Group.

SUN helps governments, civil society, businesses, development agencies, international organizations and foundations to synergize their support to communities as they reduce malnutrition – and demonstrate their results. By integrating solutions across sectors and creating new partnerships, SUN creates sustainable change and tangible results that no one programme, organization, business or government could achieve alone.

The diverse experience and expertise of the Lead Group reflect the core SUN principle that real progress can be made by engaging multiple stakeholders towards a common goal.

“This is a historic moment for nutrition,” said Dr. David Nabarro, Coordinator of the SUN Movement. “Today a group of world leaders pledges to work together to improve the nutrition of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children. Their two-year commitment to SUN illustrates the urgency and priority that these leaders place on alleviating malnutrition, as well as a recognition of the incredible impact that improved nutrition could have on the future of both individuals and nations.”

Members of the Lead Group for the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement

SUN Countries

  • Mr. Armando Emílio Guebuza, President of Mozambique
  • Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of Tanzania
  • Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
  • Mr. Nahas Angula, Prime Minister of Namibia
  • Mr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, Prime Minister of Nepal
  • Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance of Nigeria
  • Ms. Nina Sardjunani, Deputy Minister of Development Planning of Indonesia
  • Ms. Nadine Heredia, First Lady of Peru
  • Mr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD


Civil Society Organizations

  • Mr. Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson, BRAC
  • Mr. Tom Arnold , Chief Executive Officer, Concern Worldwide
  • Ms. Alessandra da Costa Lunas, Secretary-General, Confederation of Family Farmer
  • Organizations of the Extended Mercosur (COPROFAM)
  • Ms. Marie Pierre Allié, President, Médecins Sans Frontières France
  • Ms. Helene Gayle, President and CEO, CARE USA


Development Agencies

  • Ms. Beverley Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, Canada
  • Mr. Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development Cooperation, EC
  • Mr. Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing, France
  • Mr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, US Agency for International Development


Business

  • Ms. Vinita Bali Managing Director, Britannia Industries
  • Mr. Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever


International Organizations

  • Ms. Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme and Representative of the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition
  • Ms. Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Vice President, Human Development, The World Bank


Foundations and Alliances

  • Mr. Chris Elias, President, Global Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Mr. Jay Naidoo, Chair of the Board, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
  • Ms. Mary Robinson, Chair, Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice


SUN Movement

  • Mr. Anthony Lake, Chair, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Lead Group and Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Mr. David Nabarro, Coordinator, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition

 

Source: UNITED NATIONS

25 August 2010, Dhaka. UN  Secretary-General  Ban Ki-moon today appointed a Group of Eminent  Persons to advise on the  support needed to help the world’s poorest  nations achieve their  development targets.

BRAC's Founder and Chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, was among the ten people selected to join the Group. 

"The  members have been selected in view of their high international   stature, expertise and strong commitment to global development," said  the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General.   "They  will be making  efforts to raise public awareness and build strong  political commitment  in support of the LDCs in key areas, including  trade, investments,  technology transfer, official development  assistance, building  productive capacities, adaptation to the effects of  climate change, and  a stimulus package to manage the impacts of the  global financial  crisis."

Others in the Group include, Alpha Oumar Konaré, former  president of the Republic of Mali; Jacques Delors, former president of  the European Commission; Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the  Center for Global Development; Kemal Dervi vice president and director  of Global Economy and Development at Brookings Institution; James  Wolfensohn, chairman and CEO of Wolfensohn & Company and former  President of the World Bank; Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Sumitomo  Chemical Company Ltd.; Louis Michel, member of European Parliament and  formerly the European commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid;  Louis A. Kasekende, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda and formerly  executive director at the World Bank; and Sir Richard Jolly, Honorary  Professor of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of  Sussex.

25 August 2010, Dhaka. UN  Secretary-General  Ban Ki-moon today appointed a Group of Eminent  Persons to advise on the  support needed to help the world’s poorest  nations achieve their  development targets.

BRAC's Founder and Chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, was among the ten people selected to join the Group. 

"The  members have been selected in view of their high international   stature, expertise and strong commitment to global development," said  the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General.   "They  will be making  efforts to raise public awareness and build strong  political commitment  in support of the LDCs in key areas, including  trade, investments,  technology transfer, official development  assistance, building  productive capacities, adaptation to the effects of  climate change, and  a stimulus package to manage the impacts of the  global financial  crisis."

Others in the Group include, Alpha Oumar Konaré, former  president of the Republic of Mali; Jacques Delors, former president of  the European Commission; Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the  Center for Global Development; Kemal Dervi vice president and director  of Global Economy and Development at Brookings Institution; James  Wolfensohn, chairman and CEO of Wolfensohn & Company and former  President of the World Bank; Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Sumitomo  Chemical Company Ltd.; Louis Michel, member of European Parliament and  formerly the European commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid;  Louis A. Kasekende, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda and formerly  executive director at the World Bank; and Sir Richard Jolly, Honorary  Professor of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of  Sussex.

20 August 2010, Dhaka. Business leaders and professionals in the North West of England have responded generously to BRAC’s call for public support for Vision Bangladesh. Fundraising events so far have raised close to £10,000 since July 2010 and more are planned for the future.

Sandra Kabir, Executive Director, BRAC UK, praised the commitment that British-Bangladesh professional affiliations are showing towards eradicating cataract blindness in Sylhet by 2014.

“We are really delighted with the support so far from our northern supporters. All the funds raised by these events are sent directly to the project in Bangladesh. The money goes a long way – just £20 buys a cataract operation for a poor widow isolated by blindness in her village and £30 provides 20 people free glasses so they can see again. Thank you for all your dedication and keep up the good work – we still have a long way to go to reach our target of £3 million.”

Recent activities include:
 

“We hope that our contribution will go a long way to help those who are less fortunate and with better can build their lives. We are grateful for all the donations made at the Charity Iftar.” Mohammed Dobir Miah, RBPP Secretary.
 

“It is a privilege and an honour to be supporting such an excellent initiative with clear goals. We were absolutely delighted to welcome to our event, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of BRAC, who is such an inspiration to the world.” Monchab Ali, Central Chair, Greater Sylhet Council and owner of Bengal Dynasty.
 

  • A group of immigration advisers, led by Alam Ahmed, is organising a Vision Bangladesh fundraiser at Millon Restaurant in Oldham for September 28 and expects to raise at least £2,000.

 

Vision Bangladesh is a partnership programme between BRAC and Sightsavers in Bangladesh with the targeting of eliminating avoidable blindness in Sylhet by 2014. Screenings, treatment and operations started in January 2010 and so far 1,300 poor people have undergone a cataract operation, and 7,000 people have been screened.

For more information on how to support Vision Bangladesh, and organise a fundraiser in your area, please contact:

Penelope Mawson, Director of Development and Communications, BRAC UK
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tanvir Ahmed, Media Consultant, BRAC UK
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Muzahid Khan, Manchester Supporter Group Coordinator, BRAC UK
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Pakistan Flood

 

11 August 2010, Islamabad. The number of people affected by the worst floods in Pakistan that the country has witnessed in decades continues to rise as the scale of the disaster becomes more serious with every passing day.

A rapid assessment of the situation by UN- OCHA in Pakistan has found that nearly one million people have been displaced by flooding in Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan and Peshawar, four districts in the hard-hit province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), 100,000 homes have been destroyed in these districts, while some 50,000 others have sustained damage. Nowshera alone is home to over 650,000 affected people, while in some parts of Charsadda, the waters have destroyed all crops. The meteorological department of Pakistan has released fresh flood warnings on Wednesday, putting parts of Punjab and Sindh on alert and calling on foreign donors to step up to contain the country`s worst humanitarian disaster.

There is a serious shortage of clean water, food, blankets, sleeping mats and health facilities for the affected people. BRAC Pakistan is actively engaged in emergency relief efforts for the flood victims in the region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Eleven BRAC branches have distributed 6kg food parcels and oral saline sachets to more than 8,000 affected families–benefiting almost 50,000 flood victims. An additional 1650 households received six litres of bottled water, a plastic floor mat for sleeping on, and 1000 rupees for house repairs.

BRAC is providing emergency health care from four health camps that have been set up. So far, we have treated 5,606 people and distributed 425 free mosquito nets. BRAC WASH teams have also installed 22 water sinks and hand pumps benefiting entire communities.

BRAC Pakistan is constrained by a lack of funds for emergency relief supplies and is appealing for international funds in order to scale up its work to other affected districts where it has staff and branches.

For further information about BRAC or on how you can contribute to flood relief efforts, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.