1.2 million children and young readers walked into 2,900 community libraries (gonokendros) across Bangladesh.
178,445 adolescents took part in our 4,957 adolescent clubs every day, pursuing sports, arts and learning life skills.
12,409 students in selected primary and secondary schools in flood-affected regions accessed ferry boat services, and midday snacks.
3.7 million women and adolescent girls received packages of nutrition-specific services and support.
50,683 children in emergencies supported with education and protection.
14,927 children under 5 who lived amongst people suffering from TB provided with isoniazid preventive therapy to stop development of TB in the future.
1.2 million people, including men and boys, reached through gender integration efforts.
13,621 changemakers including health workers, teachers, school management committees, mentors, and librarians equipped with skills to promote gender equality.
196 potential young entrepreneurs from across the country saw their ideas incubated.
10,000 primary school students equipped with school kits worth BDT 2 million during the floods in the wetland (haor) regions.
Community health workers formed 37,442 adolescent groups for targeted adolescent health interventions.
96.8% children under 5 slept protected from mosquitoes in long-lasting insecticidal nets in our areas of intervention.
2.7 million children counselled on hygiene practices in schools across Bangladesh.
9,432 young people (54% female, 12% people with disabilities) trained through apprenticeships.
300 street children were supported with free meals, a resting place and health services from 3 centres located in Dhaka.

Over recent years, significant investments have been made in Bangladesh and other developing countries to ensure the survival and optimal development of children during the first decade of life. In Bangladesh, this has resulted in a substantial drop in child and maternal mortality rates and other notable achievements such as 97% enrolment in primary schools.

We now need to shift our focus to the second decade of children’s lives. Calls for investment in children and young people have increased dramatically in recent years. More and more countries agree that policies which help young people fulfil their potential also drive economic development.

Challenges persist in both the education and skills sectors. Approximately 20% of primary school students in Bangladesh drop out before completing class 5. We need to ensure that all children complete their primary schooling and go on to secondary school. Additional efforts are required to empower girls to believe that they are capable of doing everything boys can.


The lack of improvement in the quality and outcomes of education is another concern. Around 2.2 million young people enter Bangladesh’s workforce every year, but two out of every five young people are not in employment, education or training. They face a precarious future despite living in some of the fastest-growing economies in history.

Globalisation and technology are reshaping the lives of young people worldwide. 85% of jobs that today’s learners will be doing in 2030 do not exist now. There is an urgent need to redesign curricula for secondary, vocational and higher education to develop skills and competences that will meet the needs of the future. Our goal should be to create adaptable learners who are capable of reengineering their own skills and capacities in disrupted economies. Attention must also be paid to developing children and young people’s human qualities and values, such as empathy, cooperation and integrity.

Political instability and conflict are leaving young people vulnerable to violence, disrupting their schooling and access to basic health services and, in many cases, inflicting psychological trauma. We must accelerate efforts to protect children and young people from violence, drug abuse, conflict and poverty, to enable them to lead more productive lives and contribute to society.

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, KCMG
Founder and Chairperson

We live in remarkable times. Our world, in recent decades, has halved extreme poverty. There are more girls in school, people are no longer dying in millions from preventable communicable diseases, and more children are living beyond their fifth birthday. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a big, bold agenda before the global community, calling to unite efforts and drive positive change through partnerships that leave no-one behind.

Bangladesh enthusiastically embraced the SDGs. The country stands on a realm of possibilities as a confident, visionary and a forward-looking nation. The country’s development trajectory is considered as a unique success story globally, in terms of increasing access to education, successful family planning, and a steady reduction in infant and maternal mortality.


BRAC continues to be one of the driving forces behind this progress. We embarked on a new five-year strategy in 2016 which is closely aligned with the SDGs and priorities of the Government of Bangladesh. We continued to achieve large-scale impact through our programmes in 2017, while strengthening our organisational change efforts.

We must acknowledge that we live in an increasingly complex world. The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide surpassed a record 60 million in 2017. Global health threats, more frequent and more intense natural disasters, complex political conflicts and humanitarian crises threaten to stall and even reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades.

As a nation we faced a number of disasters, both natural and man-made, in 2017. Flash floods left thousands of families in the north-eastern Bangladesh with no livelihoods. Torrential rains and deadly landslides affected almost one third of the country. An unprecedented crisis emerged when approximately 700,000 people poured onto the shores of Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar’s Rakhine State, 67% of them being children and young people. We responded with empathy, strength and hope.

BRAC has over 35 years of experience of working with the local community in Cox’s Bazar, and we launched the largest civil society response for the new influx of Rohingyas. We were on the ground from the start, with a multi-sector response which included over 2,500 frontline staff, including 1,115 members from the host community and over 1,000 volunteers from the Rohingya community. Our interventions met the immediate needs of the Rohingyas, while building skills, resilience, and awareness to facilitate their wellbeing as the situation evolves. Taking lessons from our experiences in other countries in humanitarian and development programming, we have been designing, implementing and adapting solutions to comprehensively address the three phases of the crisis - emergency relief, recovery and rehabilitation/ repatriation. At a time mired in conflict, BRAC’s vision of a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination remains as relevant as ever.

Approximately 60% of the total labour force in Bangladesh is under 30 years old. We have many more people who are ready to work, save, and contribute to development than people who need to be supported. This demographic dividend will continue till 2030. We have limited time to turn this potential into opportunity. At BRAC, we are focusing a lot more on prioritising inclusion of young women and men, particularly from poor and marginalised communities, across our social development and humanitarian programmes, and social enterprises. We need to create more jobs and improve the quality of health and education for them to move to the next level of social development and realise the SDGs. We need to ensure that today’s young people are ready and willing to take up positive leadership roles in every sphere of society and economy, and front and centre in leading the way to a more sustainable and inclusive Bangladesh.

Personally, I see all of us - citizens, teachers, social organisations, businesses and governments - as role models. Today’s young people will be tomorrow’s leaders - in families, in workplaces, in communities - and our collective behaviour today is providing the blueprint for how they will lead. Young women and men growing up now face unique challenges that threaten their wellbeing, and hence, our common future. We all share equal responsibility to invest our time and energy in shaping their mindsets and capabilities. I urge everyone reading this report to ask yourself how you are helping young people to become the leaders that our world needs.

Dr Muhammad Musa
Executive Director


households graduated from extreme poverty

of households in hard-to-reach regions received healthcare

total disbursement (increase of 14% from 2016)

people supported with skills, jobs and decent work interventions

people, including men and boys, reached through gender integration efforts

members of women-led grassroots institutions participated in the local power structure

human rights and legal aid education classes conducted

malaria cases diagnosed and treated

houses built back better after fires in urban slums

children, over half of them girls, enrolled in 43,793 schools and centres

potential labour migrants equipped with information on safe migration

women supported before, during and after natural and man-made disasters

people accessed agricultural services

people reached through our service delivery programmes

people accessed safe water

children between the ages of 3-5 years accessed early childhood development and pre-primary programmes

TB cases diagnosed and enrolled for treatment

total borrowers reached (increase of 6% from 2016)

people supported during the Rohingya crisis
Vision, mission and values Social development Humanitarian response Social enterprises Investments BRAC University Stichting BRAC international Affiliates