Why should I support BRAC?
The COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Fund is a combination of grants from BRAC and other donors. BRAC is in charge of managing it.
BRAC has an established and vast network of staff and volunteers able to reach the last mile in all 64 districts of Bangladesh. Also, through an efficient and rigorous monitoring mechanism, BRAC ensures contributions reach the people who need them the most.
BRAC has been awarded as the number one non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the world for the fifth consecutive year in 2020, by the Geneva-based independent media organisation NGO Advisor. Read more about BRAC here: http://www.brac.net/who-we-are
How do I know that my money will go to the right people?
As a result of conducting development activities for the last 49 years, BRAC has a deep and intimate understanding about the people living in both urban and rural areas of Bangladesh. We have offices in all 64 districts of the country. Based out of these offices, our vast workforce of 100,000 staff members and volunteers across the country are actively working to stand by the families most vulnerable to the economic impacts of the pandemic.
The emergency financial assistance will initially prioritise 19 districts which are high-risk and are under lockdown. The families who are most in need of support are being identified through BRAC's skilled field staff. In this case, priority is given to the elderly, pregnant or lactating mothers, people with special needs, families dependent on women earners, people living in extreme poverty and people who are deprived of support from any other source.
How is BRAC working with the Government of Bangladesh to coordinate relief?
All BRAC programmes and branch offices across the country are working in coordination with the government's relief efforts. BRAC field staff and senior branch officials coordinate and consult with local administrations and public representatives to prevent duplication of emergency financial assistance as much as possible. BRAC is working as a partner in the overall plan of the government to address the COVID-19 crisis. In this regard, all the activities of BRAC are playing a complementary role to the various nationally adopted initiatives.
How is BRAC ensuring there is no duplication with efforts by other organisational and individual relief efforts?
BRAC's main goal is to reach those who do not have easy access to any kind of aid, those living in extreme poverty, those living in remote areas, various small indeginous communities and the host community in Cox's Bazar district. BRAC's staff work in coordination with local administrations, other NGOs and civil societies in all areas to avoid duplication of support.
What governance systems does BRAC have in place to monitor and establish transparency?
A team of BRAC staff, along with local community representatives, first identifies individuals and families in need of assistance. An amount of money is then paid to a family member or sent via mobile phone. A BRAC employee records the mobile phone number to which the money was sent, and the name and number of the national identity card that the number is registered with. If cash is paid, other necessary evidence, including the recipient's fingerprint, is preserved.
BRAC's Finance and Accounts Department and its internal audit team ensure the effectiveness and transparency of the entire financial assistance process through intensive monitoring and auditing, which plays an important role in gaining the trust of all stakeholders, including donors. In addition, our field staff is working with local governments and partner organisations to ensure a transparent flow of data.
Can BRAC send me a photo of the recipient I am giving relief to?
It is not possible to guarantee that everyone who will be receiving financial aid will have their photo taken due to the large number of people. In addition, people receiving relief often do not want their photos taken.
Why is BRAC appealing for money?
BRAC has already provided assistance to 50,000 families from its own funds - but the need is far greater. Millions of families in Bangladesh are forced to stay at home due to various measures to maintain social distancing, but they are suffering from starvation. To ensure the survival of these families, BRAC is calling for donations to able-bodied groups, voluntary groups, organisations and individuals.
Why is BRAC doing cash transfers/providing financial donations instead of distributing emergency relief such as food, hygiene products and other supplies?
In addition to emergency food aid fund activities, BRAC is conducting public awareness campaigns across the country on personal hygiene to combat the Coronavirus. Masks are being distributed. However, BRAC initiated the Emergency Food Assistance Fund out of the need to respond to the economic crisis caused by social distancing measures taken by the government to deal with the Coronavirus. Since food is the primary need for people, it is being prioritised amongst all the other forms of aid.
Can BRAC accept non-financial donations, such as clothing or food?
BRAC is not accepting any non-financial items such as perishable goods, household items or clothing as donations. This is because there is a risk of damage during the transportation of goods. In addition, the total cost for transportation also increases. Other than that, outsiders are now completely banned from entering many places due to the high risk of infection. It is almost impossible for our field workers to carry food or any other products to those places.
What will my support do?
With the help of financial donations, a family will be able to buy essential food items.
Will I get an income tax rebate against my donation?
There is no chance of getting personal income tax exemption through financial donations.
For details on Income Tax Laws and Rules of Bangladesh, visit National Board of Revenue website
National Board of Revenue of Bangladesh
Those interested in sending donations from outside Bangladesh are requested to know about the applicable laws and regulations.
Will the recipient be notified of my identity or donation amount?
The identity of donors cannot be communicated to the recipients due to the scale of operation and the nature of emergency humanitarian crisis work.
Will I be entitled to receive a report on the distribution status?
Due to the large scale of operation and the nature of emergency humanitarian crisis work, we are unable to provide distribution status reports individually. However, an aggregate report of donations collected and number of families reached will be communicated on BRAC’s website.
How are you ensuring social distancing during cash distribution?
Our field staff are trained on safety and social distancing measures and use one-on-one distribution to avoid encouraging gatherings of people. We are also leveraging mobile financial services to directly transfer cash to participants.
May I speak to a recipient directly?
Due to the large scale of operation and the nature of work in an emergency humanitarian crisis, we are unable to connect donors with recipients directly. We will publish case studies periodically on BRAC’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BRACWorld/
Is there a minimum or a maximum donation amount?
Any amount of money can be donated to the COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Fund.
Can I donate multiple times?
Grants can be given to this fund as many times as desired.