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Tuesday, 18 January 2011 18:00

Update on the earthquake in Pakistan

19 January 2011, Below is an e-mail we receive from the head of BRAC in Pakistan regarding yesterday's earthquake.

Dear Everyone,

Hope you are well and fine.

Perhaps you have heard that a strong earthquake with a magnitude 7.4 hits SW Pakistan at about 2:30 AM.  It was in a desert area bordering Iran and Afghanistan.

The quake struck at a depth of just 10km (6.2 miles) at 2,023 GMT on Tuesday ,some 55 km (34 miles) west of Dalbandian in Pakistan. It was located several hundred kilometres from the Pakistani city of Quetta and the city of Zahedan, Iran.

Our regional manager in Quetta informed us that the earth quake lasted only for few seconds.There were no casualities or damage to houses or other assets. People were running out of their houses in fear of earthquake. Inshallah we are all safe and sound.

Best regards,


Muhammed Faridur Rahman
Chief Executive Officer & Country Representative
BRAC Pakistan



16 January 2011, Dhaka. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between BRAC and the Tongi municipality on January 13 at BRAC Centre, Dhaka.

Dr. Mahabub Hossain, BRAC Executive Director and Advocate Md. Azmat Ullah Khan, Honourable Mayor of Tongi municipality signed the MoU on behalf of the respective parties.

Under the agreement, BRAC has offered to assist Tongi municipality in the collection of the waste, and to construct and operate a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) treatment plant.

Presently Tongi municipality disposes the collected waste in an unhygienic manner mainly for shortage of sufficient dumping areas. Under this agreement, BRAC will jointly collect the entire amount of solid waste generated within the boundary of the Tongi municipality and will treat and process the total waste scientifically at its own facility located within Tongi.

During the signing ceremony, Mayor Azmat stated, “Whenever we talk about development issues in Bangladesh, BRAC and Sir Fazle’s name always come up in the discussion. Hence, we are thrilled to be working with BRAC. It is the first time ever that the Tongi municipality has signed an agreement with a non-government organisation. The motto of this project is to reduce, reuse and recycle. My entire staff along with the people of Tongi municipality welcomes and embraces this partnership.”

BRAC is undertaking this venture in order to create a healthy environment for the dwellers of Tongi municipality.


Saturday, 15 January 2011 18:00

BRAC stepping into the era of innovation



16 January 2011, Dhaka. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between BRAC and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) on January 13 at BRAC Centre, Dhaka.

The MoU aims at reducing disaster risks in Bangladesh through application of early warning information at different timescale, specifically:

  • Translation of early warning information into impact outlook and response options
  • Enhancing communication of early warning information by addressing last mile gaps
  • Improvement of community level responses to early warning information

This Mou will enable the integration of RIMES weather and climate information into BRAC’s Disaster Risk Reduction programme and the climate change information into BRAC’s Climate Change Adaptation programme. RIMES will also provide BRAC with provisions of training and capacity building in this regard.

Dr. Mahabub Hossain, BRAC Executive Director and Mr A.R. Subbiah, RIMES Director signed the MoU on behalf of the respective organisations.

During the signing ceremony, Mr. Subbiah stated, “BRAC is the first ever organisation we will be working with. We consider BRAC as a valuable partner. It will be fascinating to translate science into practical use as BRAC will implement the information we provide them on the field and help people who are directly affected by climate changes.”

The agreement will last up to a period of five years.



11 January 2011, Dhaka. “Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight” is the global initiative for Elimination of Avoidable Blindness by the Year 2020 launched by World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) with an international membership of NGOs, professional associations, eye care institutions and corporations. In line with this, the Bangladesh National Vision 2020 programme was launched in November 2000 signalling the country’s commitment to accelerating programmes to control preventable blindness.

With assistance from the government, BRAC and Sightsavers are committed to eliminating avoidable blindness across Bangladesh by the year 2020. The aim is to provide enough sight restoring operations to eliminate cataract blindness across the whole country.

BRAC plans to begin by wiping out cataract blindness from the division of Sylhet by 2013. This project will go on till end on December 2013. We are already working in 12 upazillas (sub-districts) of 4 districts in Sylhet and will start working in the other upazillas of Sylhet. In total we aim to work in 37 upazillas of Sylhet by 2013 and perform 100,000 cataract operations.

After three years and with a thorough evaluation, Vision Bangladesh’s achievements and lessons will be shared with the government and other local partners with a view to developing a rollout plan to other divisions of Bangladesh.

Vision Bangladesh has been specifically designed in accordance with the government’s national eye health plan so that it can be integrated into the wider health care system. View Details


Saturday, 08 January 2011 18:00

BRAC and Ministry of Youth Sign Memoranda

09 January 2011, Dhaka. At BRAC Centre, DG of Youth Development Directorate AKM Manjurul Haque and BRAC Education Programme's Director Safiqul Islam attended the ceremony of signing Memoranda of Understanding between BRAC and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The MoU will enable BRAC Multipurpose Community Learning Centres' members to receive institutional and non-institutional skill development training provided by Youth Development Directorate.

Every year 10,000 members (50% female) of BRAC Multipurpose Community Learning Centres will receive skill development training from Youth Development Directorate. Among members female candidates will get higher priority. BRAC will look after the logistics part.

BRAC Executive Director, Mahbub Hossain, Director of Communications Asif Saleh and Director of Training Abdur Razzaque were also speakers at the event.

AKM Manjurul Haque said that from this agreement both parties will be benefited as both of them have similar objective and that is to develop skilled society. Dr. Mahbub Hossain mentioned that we need to integrated approach to develop our youth. We can be economically advanced country if we can make them productive. This agreement is a good example of private-public partnership.

Thursday, 30 December 2010 18:00

Colourful reception for sharecroppers

31 December 2010, Dhaka. Around 10,000 sharecroppers from 14 districts of the country enjoyed a colourful reception at the Bangladesh Army Stadium yesterday jointly organised by BRAC and the Bangladesh Bank. The event was organised to celebrate the achievements of the hardworking sharecroppers for their contribution in helping provide food security to Bangladesh.

The sharecroppers wearing different coloured caps arrived at the stadium early morning and were treated with performances from eminent singers Momotaz and Kiran Chandra Roy. BRAC ADP (Adolescent Development Programme) members and popular theatre troupes also performed songs and dramas in the event.

The introductory speakers of the reception were Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director, BRAC and Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor, Bangladesh Bank.

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Finance, Mr Abul Mal Abdul Muhit (Member of Parliament) was present as the chief guest in the event. He distributed awards among 15 sharecroppers in recognition of best usage of microloans and best adaptive technological practices in farming.

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Ms. Matiya Chowdhury (Member of Parliament) and eminent agricultural personality, Mr. Sheikh Seraj, Director and Head of News, Channel i, also addressed the ceremony, which was chaired by BRAC Governing Body member Ms. Taherunessa Abdullah.

BRAC launched the sharecropper development project funded by the Bangladesh Bank in 2009 when they opened a BDT 500 crore revolving fund to finance sharecroppers to have the working capital and boost crop production. It was the first ever credit allocation for the sharecroppers in the history of Bangladesh. BRAC also provides technical assistance to the sharecroppers under this project.


Tuesday, 28 December 2010 18:00

Celebrating the Achievements of Sharecroppers

29 December 2010, Dhaka. Bangladesh Bank and BRAC is jointly organising a reception for hardworking sharecroppers to celebrate their achievements for their contribution in helping provide food security to Bangladesh. The event will take place at the Bangladesh Army Stadium on the 30th of December, 2010.

Nine thousand two hundred and sixty two men and seven hundred and fifty eight women sharecroppers will take part in the event along with five hundred and forty block supervisors.

The introductory speakers to the event are Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director, BRAC and Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor, Bangladesh Bank.

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Finance, Mr Abul Mal Abdul Muhit (Member of Parliament) will be present as chief guest in the event and will distribute awards among sharecroppers.

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Ms. Matiya Chowdhury (Member of Parliament) and the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Land, Mr. Rezaul Karim Hira (Member of Parliament) will be present as special guests to the event. Among other speakers are eminent agricultural personality, Mr. Shaikh Siraj, Director and Head of News, Channel i.

The programme will be chaired by Ms. Taherunessa Abdullah, Member, Governing Board, BRAC.

A colourful cultural event will start of the event with performances from eminent singers Momtaz and Kiran Chandra Rai. BRAC ADP members and Popular Theatre troupes will also perform songs and dramas in the event.


26 December 2010, Dhaka. Concentrating on the provision of social protection and social reintegration of the ultra poor, BRAC Advocacy Unit is striding to create massive responsiveness in favour of the ultra poor whose lives are dominated by extreme poverty and hunger. Realising the role of livestock in reducing ultra poverty and bringing about other positive changes, BRAC Advocacy Unit organised a national seminar on “The Role of Livestock in Reducing Ultra Poverty in Bangladesh” on 22nd December at the Banquet Hall of Hotel Abakash of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation at Mohakhali, Dhaka.

The main objectives behind organising this seminar were:

  • Enhancing implementation of existing pro poor policies and related services in favour of ultra poor
  • Identification of future policy areas for reducing ultra poverty in Bangladesh 

Md. Abdul Latif Biswas, the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Services (MoF & LS), Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was the chief guest of the seminar whereas Ujjwal Bikash Dutta, Honourable Secretary of MoF & LS inaugurated the seminar. Md. Ashraf Ali, Director General, Department of Livestock Services (DLS) and Shykh Seraj, renowned  media personality and Director and Head of News, Channel- i graced the seminar as special guests.  Sheepa Hafiza, Director, Gender Justice & Diversity and Advocacy, BRAC was the moderator.

Professor Md. Hafezur Rahman PhD from Bangladesh Agricultural University presented the keynote paper. Along with the directors of the DLS, Divisional Deputy Directors and District Livestock Officers, renowned journalists, educationists, researchers, representatives from development partners, and different INGOs also participated in the seminar. 

With active participation from the discussants, chief guest, special guests and audience, some very valuable recommendations and guidelines arouse which will help to mobilise Government’s livestock services towards removing ultra poverty in Bangladesh.  At the same time The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Services also committed to extend its existing services like vaccination, livestock treatment and medicines to the doorsteps of the ultra poor.

26 December 2010, Dhaka. Medhabikash is an innovative intervention of the BRAC Education Programme where talented but disadvantaged students receive financial support to pay their college tuition fees both home and abroad, as well as capacity-building assistance. To celebrate the success of these meritorious students, BRAC Education Programme arranged a two day event on December 17 – 18 titled “Medhabikash Shommelon (Convention) 2010” at the Savar TARC (Training and Resource Centre).

Some 600 students from Medhabikash gathered to take part in the event. BRAC Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was the chief guest on the first day of the event. Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Chairperson, Bishya Shahitya Kendra, Mohammad Kayekobad, professor, BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) and Nazrul Islam Khan, personal secretary to the Prime Minister were present as special guests.

Dr. Safiqul Islam, Director of BRAC Education Programme gave the welcome speech and the event was chaired by Manzur Ahmed, senior advisor, BRAC Institute of Education Development.

The speakers motivated the youth and stressed on education and the responsibility of the youth in building a strong nation. The event had many open discussions and panel discussions with notable personalities which helped the students exchange their views.

The closing ceremony was chaired by BRAC Executive Director Dr. Mahabub Hossain. Yafes Osman, State Minister of Ministry of Information and Communication Technology was present as the chief guest. Eminent writer Professor Hayat Mahmud and Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sirajul Islam were the special guests on the closing day. A cultural performance closed the two day event amidst many cheers.

24 December 2010, Dhaka. Two female micro-entrepreneurs supported by BRAC Uganda Microfinance Limited, Theresa Twinomugisha and Ruth Naigaga Wamulo emerged winners of gold and bronze awards respectively in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2010.

The competition was organised by the Citigroup Foundation in collaboration with the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) to recognise the extraordinary contributions that individual micro-entrepreneurs have made to the economic stability of their families and their communities in Uganda. It drew over 100 entrepreneurs supported with loans from Microfinance Institutions (MFI), Microfinance Deposit-taking Institutions (MDI) and Savings & Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs) in Uganda. BRAC Uganda was the only MFI whose candidates won a gold and bronze award and was awarded a certificate of recognition. Other awards went to SACCO members.

Twinomugisha receiving the Gold award from Hon. Minister of MicrofinanceTwinomugisha receiving the Gold award from Hon. Minister of Microfinance

Twinomugisha was rewarded with UGX 10 million while Wamulo was among the top 13 entrepreneurs who won bronze plaques plus UGX 1.5 million. Other 14 winners received certificates of recognition plus UGX 400,000.
Ruth receiving the cheque of UGX 1.5mRuth receiving the cheque of UGX 1.5m

Winners were drawn by a nine-member panel of microfinance experts chaired by the Managing Director of CitiBank. The awards ceremony was held on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 in Kampala’s Serena hotel and was presided over by State Minister for Microfinance, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa.

The Country Representative of BRAC Uganda, Mr Khondoker Ariful Islam was also present together with the Microfinance Programme Manager, Mr Rafiqul Islam, the credit officers; Evelyne Nasaka and Juliana Negaga, who have been serving Twinomugisha and Wamulo.

In short speeches after receiving the awards, Twinomugisha and Wamulo thanked BRAC Uganda for the support rendered to them in their enterprises and urged all other entrepreneurs, especially women, to work harder.

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