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Monday, 26 October 2009 17:00

BRAC Hosts Donor Consortium

27 October 2009, Dhaka. BRAC met with its principal donors and updated them on its activities, highlighting achievements, new interventions and opportunities to extend existing efforts.

Representatives from DFID, CIDA, AUSAID, UNICEF, NOVIB and Oxfam Norway attended the meet at the BRAC Centre in Dhaka on Oct. 26,
 
High-level BRAC officials explained BRAC’s interventions, achievements and lessons learned, and underscored the next steps to take.

BRAC Executive Director Dr. Mahabub Hossain presented an overview of recent developments in Bangladesh, particularly the financial crisis and its impact.

 

16 October 2009, Dhaka. In keeping with the theme for this year’s International Day for Eradication of Poverty, “Children and families speak out against poverty” BRAC organized, among other events, an art festival titled “Drawing a World Fit for All Children” at the Central Shahid Minar from 9 am to 12 pm. Over 300 students from mainstream institutions such as Scholastica and Sunnydale came together with children from disadvantaged backgrounds from BRAC, Streetwise, Surovi schools as well as differently abled children from Beautiful Mind school to work together to draw their vision of an ideal world.

The event was sponsored by BRAC Enterprises with transport sponsor Aktel and media partner Radio Foorti. Event highlights included musical and dance performances by the children and a closing ceremony attended lead by BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed and senior officials from BRAC, BRAC Enterprises and Aktel.

This was most likely the first time such an event involving children from all walks of life was organized in the hope that the experience would inspire a mutual curiosity and respect for each other in the children and also result in a wonderful, colorful expression of their idea of a poverty free world.

The occasion was also the launch of a mobile photo exhibition depicting images of people from all across Bangladesh working to overcome poverty. The exhibition sponsored by BRAC Bank Ltd., displaying photographs taken by students at Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, aims to generate optimism in the audience and act as a call to action in joining the fight against poverty. The exhibit was on display at Shahid Minar grounds during the art festival and will be present at several other prominent locations around the city during the following week.

In addition, BRAC and the Bangladesh Government are jointly organizing human chains, discussion sessions and cultural programmes at the district level on October 17th.

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16 October 2009, Dhaka. In keeping with the theme for this year’s International Day for Eradication of Poverty, “Children and families speak out against poverty” BRAC organized, among other events, an art festival titled “Drawing a World Fit for All Children” at the Central Shahid Minar from 9 am to 12 pm. Over 300 students from mainstream institutions such as Scholastica and Sunnydale came together with children from disadvantaged backgrounds from BRAC, Streetwise, Surovi schools as well as differently abled children from Beautiful Mind school to work together to draw their vision of an ideal world.

The event was sponsored by BRAC Enterprises with transport sponsor Aktel and media partner Radio Foorti. Event highlights included musical and dance performances by the children and a closing ceremony attended lead by BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed and senior officials from BRAC, BRAC Enterprises and Aktel.

This was most likely the first time such an event involving children from all walks of life was organized in the hope that the experience would inspire a mutual curiosity and respect for each other in the children and also result in a wonderful, colorful expression of their idea of a poverty free world.

The occasion was also the launch of a mobile photo exhibition depicting images of people from all across Bangladesh working to overcome poverty. The exhibition sponsored by BRAC Bank Ltd., displaying photographs taken by students at Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, aims to generate optimism in the audience and act as a call to action in joining the fight against poverty. The exhibit was on display at Shahid Minar grounds during the art festival and will be present at several other prominent locations around the city during the following week.

In addition, BRAC and the Bangladesh Government are jointly organizing human chains, discussion sessions and cultural programmes at the district level on October 17th.

wpd_sponsors.jpg

16 October 2009, Dhaka. In keeping with the theme for this year’s International Day for Eradication of Poverty, “Children and families speak out against poverty” BRAC organized, among other events, an art festival titled “Drawing a World Fit for All Children” at the Central Shahid Minar from 9 am to 12 pm. Over 300 students from mainstream institutions such as Scholastica and Sunnydale came together with children from disadvantaged backgrounds from BRAC, Streetwise, Surovi schools as well as differently abled children from Beautiful Mind school to work together to draw their vision of an ideal world.

The event was sponsored by BRAC Enterprises with transport sponsor Aktel and media partner Radio Foorti. Event highlights included musical and dance performances by the children and a closing ceremony attended lead by BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed and senior officials from BRAC, BRAC Enterprises and Aktel.

This was most likely the first time such an event involving children from all walks of life was organized in the hope that the experience would inspire a mutual curiosity and respect for each other in the children and also result in a wonderful, colorful expression of their idea of a poverty free world.

The occasion was also the launch of a mobile photo exhibition depicting images of people from all across Bangladesh working to overcome poverty. The exhibition sponsored by BRAC Bank Ltd., displaying photographs taken by students at Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, aims to generate optimism in the audience and act as a call to action in joining the fight against poverty. The exhibit was on display at Shahid Minar grounds during the art festival and will be present at several other prominent locations around the city during the following week.

In addition, BRAC and the Bangladesh Government are jointly organizing human chains, discussion sessions and cultural programmes at the district level on October 17th.

wpd_sponsors.jpg

 

30 September 2009, Dhaka. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said he was “extremely impressed” by BRAC’s activities and outreach after meeting with BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed at the Vancouver Peace Summit in September.

The Dalai Lama commented that Abed’s work, and the evolution of the organisation he started, exemplified the process by which “real change must start with individuals, then family, then community.” Abed shared his personal story and that of building BRAC during a private retreat at the peace summit, organised by the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education from Sept. 27-29.

His Holiness also expressed admiration for how the organisation is now able to export decades of expertise to other countries in need. He made the comments during an interview with Maria Shriver on the last day of the Summit.

The Summit centred around dialogue with the Dalai Lama, and brought together luminaries like former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mary Robinson, religious scholar Karen Armstrong, First Lady of California Maria Shriver, and Nobel laureates Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams.

BRAC USA President and CEO Susan Davis moderated the Summit’s closing session, which focused on “Women and Peace Building.” Panellists discussed the vital, but often unrecognised role women play in advancing peace. They urged more investment in girls and women for greater participation in political office, and called for giving wider publicity to stories on how women are building peace.

The panel included His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Abed, former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, Dr. Swanee Hunt of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Ela Bhatt - the founder of Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), and Emmy awarding-winning musician and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation Peter Buffett.

The session opened with a performance by composer and singer Peter Buffett and cellist Michael Kott. It included an original song, “Set Us Free,” which was inspired by a visit to BRAC`s programme for adolescent girls. It was accompanied by a video, which is available on  youtube as well as on http://blog4brac.blogspot.com/.

Collaborative Effort through CGI to Break the Cycle of Disease and Poverty in Haiti

 

25 September 2009, Dhaka. Fonkoze, BRAC, BRAC USA, Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante, CGAP, CHF Partners in Rural Development and Linked Foundation have joined forces to commit $50 million towards a two-year effort to implement a proven, replicable, cost-effective approach to improving health and reducing extreme poverty in Central Haiti.

President Clinton’s appointment as United Nations special envoy to Haiti and the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative draw attention to the extreme and persistent poverty in Haiti and the need for innovative solutions.

Fonkoze and Zanmi Lasante, two leading Haitian NGOs with decades of experience in the target area, together with BRAC, the largest NGO in the Global South, and other organizations are using their complementary strengths to improve health, eliminate extreme poverty, and develop youth leaders in this hemisphere’s poorest country.

"The needs are so great," said Fazle Hasan Abed Founder and Chairperson of BRAC.  "We will work in partnership to address each facet of extreme poverty and to break its grip."

Targeting 575,000 people in Haiti’s Central Plateau, the major components of this commitment involve building:

» Safety nets with transitions to sustainable enterprise for the most vulnerable;
» Comprehensive health services;
» Food security and agricultural training and employment;
» Improved water access and sanitation; and
» Youth leadership development and training.

“Bringing together our combined successes and expertise in a comprehensive economic, health, and leadership development approach is the precise, direct strategy needed at this crucial time,” said Anne Hastings, Director of Fonkoze.  “We all seek to build a sustainable future for Haiti and her people.”

Collaborative Effort through CGI to Break the Cycle of Disease and Poverty in Haiti

Collaborative Effort through CGI to Break the Cycle of Disease and Poverty in Haiti

 

25 September 2009, Dhaka. Fonkoze, BRAC, BRAC USA, Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante, CGAP, CHF Partners in Rural Development and Linked Foundation have joined forces to commit $50 million towards a two-year effort to implement a proven, replicable, cost-effective approach to improving health and reducing extreme poverty in Central Haiti.

President Clinton’s appointment as United Nations special envoy to Haiti and the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative draw attention to the extreme and persistent poverty in Haiti and the need for innovative solutions.

Fonkoze and Zanmi Lasante, two leading Haitian NGOs with decades of experience in the target area, together with BRAC, the largest NGO in the Global South, and other organizations are using their complementary strengths to improve health, eliminate extreme poverty, and develop youth leaders in this hemisphere’s poorest country.

"The needs are so great," said Fazle Hasan Abed Founder and Chairperson of BRAC.  "We will work in partnership to address each facet of extreme poverty and to break its grip."

Targeting 575,000 people in Haiti’s Central Plateau, the major components of this commitment involve building:

» Safety nets with transitions to sustainable enterprise for the most vulnerable;
» Comprehensive health services;
» Food security and agricultural training and employment;
» Improved water access and sanitation; and
» Youth leadership development and training.

“Bringing together our combined successes and expertise in a comprehensive economic, health, and leadership development approach is the precise, direct strategy needed at this crucial time,” said Anne Hastings, Director of Fonkoze.  “We all seek to build a sustainable future for Haiti and her people.”

Collaborative Effort through CGI to Break the Cycle of Disease and Poverty in Haiti

Collaborative Effort through CGI to Break the Cycle of Disease and Poverty in Haiti

 

25 September 2009, Dhaka. Fonkoze, BRAC, BRAC USA, Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante, CGAP, CHF Partners in Rural Development and Linked Foundation have joined forces to commit $50 million towards a two-year effort to implement a proven, replicable, cost-effective approach to improving health and reducing extreme poverty in Central Haiti.

President Clinton’s appointment as United Nations special envoy to Haiti and the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative draw attention to the extreme and persistent poverty in Haiti and the need for innovative solutions.

Fonkoze and Zanmi Lasante, two leading Haitian NGOs with decades of experience in the target area, together with BRAC, the largest NGO in the Global South, and other organizations are using their complementary strengths to improve health, eliminate extreme poverty, and develop youth leaders in this hemisphere’s poorest country.

"The needs are so great," said Fazle Hasan Abed Founder and Chairperson of BRAC.  "We will work in partnership to address each facet of extreme poverty and to break its grip."

Targeting 575,000 people in Haiti’s Central Plateau, the major components of this commitment involve building:

» Safety nets with transitions to sustainable enterprise for the most vulnerable;
» Comprehensive health services;
» Food security and agricultural training and employment;
» Improved water access and sanitation; and
» Youth leadership development and training.

“Bringing together our combined successes and expertise in a comprehensive economic, health, and leadership development approach is the precise, direct strategy needed at this crucial time,” said Anne Hastings, Director of Fonkoze.  “We all seek to build a sustainable future for Haiti and her people.”

Collaborative Effort through CGI to Break the Cycle of Disease and Poverty in Haiti

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.

16 September 2009, Dhaka. BRAC and Bangladesh Bank signed an agreement on disbursement of agriculture credit to sharecroppers. Under the deal, BRAC in association with other organisations will distribute the credit across the country.

Early this fiscal year, the central bank had announced an allocation of TK 500 crore as agriculture credit dedicated exclusively for the sharecroppers. This is the first ever credit allocation for the sharecroppers in the history of Bangladesh.
 

Bangladesh Bank Govronor Dr. Ataur Rahman, General Manager S. M. Moniruzzaman, BRAC Finance & Account Director S. N. Kairy and BRAC Founder & Cairperson Fazle Hasan Abed at the signing ceremony

Bangladesh Bank Govronor Dr. Ataur Rahman, General Manager S. M. Moniruzzaman, BRAC Finance & Account Director S. N. Kairy and BRAC Founder & Cairperson Fazle Hasan Abed at the signing ceremony

Bangladesh Bank earlier decided to disburse a total agriculture credit of TK 12,000 crore, including allocation for the sharecroppers for fiscal 2009-10. The allocation of increased farm credits is to support the government’s bid to boost agricultural production and keep food prices at an affordable level.