BRAC

BRAC

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 00:00

Severe floods and landslides in Nepal

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The recent floods and landslides have caused widespread destruction and casualties in 26 districts of Nepal. The death toll has reached 115 people with another 38 still reported missing. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes.

In Janakpur, villagers are struggling to find dry and safe places as almost all the settlements in the sub-metropolis have been inundated. Water, food and medicine are scarce and people are drinking contaminated water. There is an increase in patients with waterborne diseases according to the local hospitals.

The Government has anticipated huge losses in the agriculture sector; in the Terai districts alone the losses could amount to NPR 2.86 billion.

The floods have caused wildlife devastation as well. A rhinoceros and six deer were found dead near Triveni river bank in Nawalparasi district on Monday.

BRAC in Nepal attending coordination meetings and collecting information about the affected areas.

 

Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:00

BRAC Nursery

BRAC-Nursery

 

BRAC Nursery, previously known as the Social Forestry Programme, was set up in 1988 to provide high quality seeds to small and marginal farmers to increase agricultural productivity and farm earnings.The enterprise uses a variety of activities to increase awareness about the necessity of planting trees and to increase the number and variety of trees not only to meet the basic needs such as timber, fuel and fruit but also to restore the ecological balance.

We aim to maintain and improve ecological balance through forestation and contribute towards increasing environmental awareness alongside of generating income and employment. This year we have been awarded the First Prize in the National Tree Plantation and Tree Fair by Bangladesh Forest Department, Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Thursday, 10 August 2017 00:00

Bangladesh Health Watch Report 2016 launched

Non-communicable disease control major challenge
Lack of service for women and children

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Inadequacies in non-communicable disease control measures pose a major threat in the country’s health sector despite other commendable achievements in improving the healthcare services. Particularly, there is a serious shortage in healthcare services in this regard for women and children. Insufficient infrastructure and lack of preparedness to meet the patient demands are also part of the scenario.

Speakers discussed these issues at the launch ceremony of the sixth Bangladesh Health Watch Report 2016 today on Thursday (10 August 2017) at the BRAC Centre Auditorium in the capital.

The event titled ‘Non-Communicable Diseases in Bangladesh: Current Scenario and Future Directions’ had Nahin Razzaq MP, member of the parliament standing committee on youth and sports ministry, as its chief guest.

Simeen Mahmud, head (acting) of Gender Studied Cluster, and coordinator of Centre for Gender and Social Transformation, Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Development, BRAC University, chaired the programme.

Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Jane Edmondson, Dhaka Office head of United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and Anders Ohstrom, head of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, spoke among others at the event.

Dr Ahmed Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury, vice-chairman of BRAC, gave the welcome address.

Nahin Razzaq MP said, ‘With the increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases the government has started investing in this area. We are going to formulate an action plan on next month. We have also increased emphasis on young people’s engagement in sports and cultural activities.’

Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said, ‘Although the government is implementing many commendable programmes, due only to some wrong policies non-communicable diseases is heading towards a crisis situation. The organ transplant law that the government has recently enacted is not practical. I believe, the government could have the law formulated with directions that allowed not only close relatives but anyone to donate kidney.’

The report presented data and analysis on the nature and risk factors regarding the non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh. The challenges highlighted in the report among others include: One, Mainstreaming non-communicable disease service provision at the primary healthcare level, two, Non-functioning regulatory framework and lack of coordination at the national level and three, lack of robust national database incorporating data from rural and urban areas as well as public and private sources for regular and strong surveillance of such diseases.

To mitigate the challenges the report has put forward five challenges:

  1. Build awareness across the society about the urgency of tackling non-communicable diseases and its consequential impact on poverty alleviation, economic development and achieving the universal healthcare policy.
  2. Develop an integrated, multi-sector approach to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases with the health and family welfare ministry in the lead.
  3. Strengthen the current health systems at all levels to address non-communicable diseases, focusing on human and physical capacity of the primary healthcare services for early diagnosis and treatment, follow-up services and disease risk reduction.
  4. Establish a comprehensive national-level surveillance system for the four major non-communicable diseases.
  5. Generate evidence for preventive and curative service delivery regarding non-communicable diseases effectively and efficiently, keeping equity and universal coverage in focus.
  6. The report also stressed that a ‘concerted, strategic, and multi-sectoral policy approach’ is essential to tackle the emerging epidemic of non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh.

Download the report

 

Sir-Fazle-Hasan-abed-Jim-Yong-Kim

Jim Kim

Dr Jim Kim and international development community hail BRAC as a global leader in ending extreme poverty


On Sunday, 23 July 2017, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson, BRAC shared the stage with Dr Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group at the annual RESULTS International Conference held in Washington, DC.

At the plenary titled Going the Last Mile, Dr Joanne Carter, executive director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund, recognised Sir Fazle and Dr Kim as two global leaders and practical visionaries who did “what the world had said was too hard or even impossible”, played a critical role in fighting tuberculosis, and had what it will take to get to the last mile in ending extreme poverty.


Sir Fazle talked about the motivation behind BRAC’s globally successful graduation programme; reaching those trapped in ultra poverty.


Dr Kim emphasised the need for governments today to invest in their own people and move away from supply-driven investments to demand-driven investments.

Both Sir Abed and Dr Kim highlighted the role that women can play in fighting poverty, and the need to mobilise them as ‘agents of change’ for poverty alleviation.


In his closing remarks, Dr Kim expressed his concern of rising aspirations everywhere;

 “We are racing against time and the sense of urgency we have today is greater than it was ever before,” he said. “We have to get better at thinking about the foundations of human solidarity. We have to find a way forward. We have to commit and recommit to equality of opportunity,” he concluded.


Representatives from BRAC presented the details of their graduation programme in a separate panel with panellists from the University of New Hampshire, Uplift and the RESULTS Educational Fund. This session provided the opportunity to understand the various forms of social protection and livelihood programmes and the need to make such programmes more comprehensive, adaptive and scalable in order to reach the extreme poor and provide them with better support to help escape poverty sustainably.

 

He holds the number 37 position on Fortune’s List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and has won an incredible number of prestigious awards. He is the founder and chairperson of the world’s largest private development aid organisation, with 100,000 employees in 11 countries and a budget of one billion dollars. He is 81 years old, and his biography reads like an adventure novel. After 45 years, the ongoing success of his NGO called BRAC offers a convincing response to those cynics who declared development aid a thing of the past. His name is Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and De Dikke Blauwe spoke to this architect of poverty reduction during his visit to the Netherlands in mid-June. read more

According to the Pareto principle, 80% of the world’s wealth is in the hands of 20% of the people. Even if more resources are created, the distribution of the new wealth will follow the same rule. This rule does not only work in economics, but it also applies in science and sports for the prediction of results, read more

Sunday, 09 July 2017 00:00

The flock formula

It is difficult to monetise how livestock impacts a household’s income, but it certainly increases resilience in vulnerable households. Growing rice or vegetables, especially in time of unpredictable weather and natural disasters, is often a risky venture. However, livestock is easier to take care of. For example, sheep and goats are adaptable assets that are read more

Sunday, 09 July 2017 00:00

The mother of ducks

Every day, right before sunset, something wonderful happens in the village of Dhonokandi. As the western sky grows rosy pink, and the paddy fields on the east turn deep green, hundreds of brown little dots are suddenly seen scrambling in the horizon. Within minutes, a flock of quacking ducks approach the main road, and amongst read more

Sunday, 09 July 2017 00:00

Our cities. Our solutions.

Can you solve a wicked problem affecting thousands of people living in slums while sipping coffee in an air-conditioned room? In our 45 years of experience in Bangladesh and across eleven countries in Asia and Africa, the answer is mostly no. The ideas that work come from a little closer to the problem. Solutions that read more

The market for microinsurance in Bangladesh has been growing rapidly over the last 10 years, with over 25 million subscribers. Yet it is still met with skepticism among many poor microfinance clients. As of this January, BRAC, in partnership with Guardian Life Insurance Company, joined the market making its credit shield insurance product available nationwide read more