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Wednesday, 15 May 2013 18:00

BRAC prepares for Cyclone Mahasen

16 May 2013, Dhaka.


Photo copyright: BRAC/Ferdous Uddin Ahmad.

As Bangladesh braces itself for cyclone Mahasen hitting its coastal areas today, a combined effort by different BRAC programmes, including Disaster, Environment & Climate Change (DECC), is mobilising precautions. The coast between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar currently hoists a danger level of 7, on a scale of 1 to 11.

Standard operation procedures (SOP), established by DECC, are being followed to maximise the efficiency and resources of all necessary actions taken during different phases of this natural disaster. Emergency team meetings are being held in BRAC’s field offices and a situation room, activated in Dhaka’s head office to coordinate a prompt response, is managing constant updates from over a dozen districts as well as different international and national weather modelling sources.

District BRAC Representatives (DBR) in coastal districts formed the Incident Command System (ICS), following BRAC’s SOP, and are compiling resource maps, making inventories, disseminating information on protocols to the public, listing necessary emergency materials and identifying possible retail vendors that can help. They are also working with local authorities such as in Chittagong, Bagerhat, Cox’s Bazar, Barisal and Khulna, which are conducting consecutive emergency meetings to assess the situation.

BRAC closed its schools in vulnerable areas yesterday and ensured all government and BRAC cyclone shelters were opened and properly prepared. It is also providing meals for evacuated community members at cyclone shelters as and where necessary.

The extended BRAC family, including village organisation members, community health workers, school teachers and adolescent leaders, are being advised to carry out their roles as first responders alongside BRAC staff. Teams from BRAC’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), Health, Nutrition and Population programme (HNPP) and DECC are also ready to provide support as first responders if an emergency situation arises.


For up to date information as the situation develops, please check our blog.

Media spokesperson from BRAC:
Dr Babar Kabir
Senior Director, Disaster, Environment & Climate Change
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Ph: 8801714091383

For Bangladesh Media:
Mahbubul Alam Kabir
Sr. Media Manager, Communications
BRAC
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Ph: 8801711404561

For International Media:
Tasfiyah Jalil
Manager, Communications
BRAC
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Ph: 8801730351398

For International Media(From May 21st):
Himadri Ahsan
Deputy Manager, Communications
BRAC
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Ph: 8801728775331
 

Saturday, 11 May 2013 18:00

BRAC announces leadership changes

12 May 2013, Dhaka. BRAC has announced changes to its senior level management. A circular was sent out on the 7 May, 2013.

Faruque Ahmed, Senior Director, BRAC International has been promoted to the position of Executive Director, BRAC International. In addition to all country representatives, BRAC Internatinal's chief financial officer and the director of internal audit will be reporting to Mr Ahmed.

Executive Director, BRAC and Vice Chairperson, BRAC governing body will provide support and guidance to BRAC International's agricultural programmes and research and evaluation department respectively.

 

Held on 29 and 30 April, BRAC’s Global Learning Meeting continued the work that began in Bangladesh in 2012, creating a network and platform to share knowledge and strategies for effective adolescent and youth development programming.

BRAC is the world’s largest implementer of the "girl effect" which is the unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world. Our programmes have led to a rich reserve of knowledge and experience, and this meeting enabled sharing of global best practices to design effective programmes for adolescents and youth.

The Global Learning Meeting fittingly took place in the world's youngest country in terms of the age of the population (78 per cent being under the age of 30), where we have seen measurable improvements in the lives of girls as the result of targeted interventions that empower girls both socially and financially.

The meeting was produced in partnership with Nike Foundation. Senior management and programme designers from 11 countries where BRAC operates, as well as representatives from Nike Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Save the Children, Population Council and UNICEF, attended the meeting.

More information and photos from the proceedings will be updated here and on the BRAC Blog in the coming days.

  

  

  

 

02 May 2013, Dhaka. Dr. Mahabub Hossain, executive director of BRAC, has been selected as one of the 500 most powerful people in the world by Foreign Policy – a global magazine of politics and economics.  Dr Hossain is the only one chosen from Bangladesh to have claimed a position in this very prestigious power map. 

The Foreign Policy adheres to a ‘list of lists’ approach by which they consult various distinguished and globally influential sources like Fortune Global 500, Forbes World’s Most Powerful People, World 500, Top 100 NGOs, International Media Corporations, World University Rankings, Wall Street Journal Market Watch and such others, and pick 500 people who have proven to possess the outstanding capability of influencing global trajectories.  In February 2013, BRAC was ranked number one among the top 100 NGOs in the world.

Dr Hossain joined as Executive Director of BRAC in June 2007. Prior to joining BRAC, he was head of the Social Sciences Division at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines, and coordinator of the Consortium for Unfavourable Rice Environments (CURE) in Asia. Dr Hossain began his career in 1970, as a staff economist at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (former PIDE) and rose through the ranks to become its director general during 1988-91. He also worked as a visiting scientist at the Institute of Developing Economies in Tokyo (1981), the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC (1985-87), and the Overseas Development Institute, London (1990).

Dr Hossain received his MA in Economics from Dhaka University in 1969 and PhD in Economics from Cambridge University, England in 1977. His major area of research interest is on the rural development policies. Dr Hossain serves as a member of the Board of Governors at Bangladesh Agriculture University, Mymensigh, and BRAC University. He is a founding member of the North-South University Foundation, and a member of the Advisory Council of the CGIAR Harvest Plus Project run by IFPRI and CIAT, the Rice Advisory Council of the Syngenta Corporation for Asia and the Pacific. He is the Chairperson of Bangladesh Rice Foundation, a civil society think tank on rice policies. He is also a member of the Global Knowledge Advisory Commission of The World Bank.

Full list is available here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/04/29/the_500_most_powerful_people_in_the_world


 

Friday, 26 April 2013 18:00

BRAC launches LEAD project in Tanzania

27 April 2013, Dhaka. On 23 April 2013, BRAC successfully launched the livelihood enhancement through agricultural development (LEAD) project in Tanzania. This four-year long project is a collaborative initiative of UK government and BRAC which will be implemented in 18 regions in Tanzania. The project seeks to increase rural income, build capacity of smallholder farmers, and improve agriculture productivity and food security. The project consists of two main components –agriculture (maize) and livestock (poultry), and will work directly with 48,000 poultry farmers in the country to build their capacity, assist them in accessing high quality farming inputs, and creating marketing facilities for their produce.

BRAC’s Founder Chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed chaired the ceremony. Also in attendance were the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries development, Dr David Mathayo; British High Commissioner to Tanzania Dianna Melrose; and Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s office (Environment) Mr Charles Kitwanqa.

15 April 2013, Dhaka. On April 11, 2013, BRAC launched a 3 year long food security project in Liberia aiming to increase food security in poor rural parts of the country through production, processing and marketing of livestock. The project was launched in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture and the European Union Delegation to Liberia.

The launching ceremony took place at the Corina Hotel in Monorvia, where findings of a recent market survey conducted by BRAC Liberia research unit were presented. The project is expected to reduce poverty by increasing food security through improved sustainable livestock production amongst 12,650 farmers, increasing household incomes and developing the capacity of the local relevant institutions to enable them for developing national livestock strategy.

The national livestock coordinator at the ministry of agriculture, Mrs. Elizabeth Wiles, Agriculture manager of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, Adolf Cires Alonso, Country representative of BRAC Liberia Mohammed Abdus Salam were present at the ceremony.
 

Friday, 26 April 2013 18:00

BRAC wins IFTDO Global Award 2013

27 April 2013, Dhaka. On 25 April, 2013, BRAC was honoured with the ‘Certificate of Merit’ Award at the 42ndInternational Federation of Training and Development Organisations (IFTDO) World Conference. BRAC received this prestigious award from the Honorable President of Republic of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi, India, in the category of ‘Improving Quality of Working Life'. The conference was held during 23 - 27April, 2013 at the Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, India.

BRAC’s learning division received the award for their write-up on "Improving Quality ofWorking Life".  BRAC believes that training is one of the strategic mechanisms for flourishing performance. The write-up competed with 29 submissions from 10 countries and was short listed to the final nine, by the Judging Panel of the IFTDO Global Awards.An esteemed award, any organisation in this category is viewed as working with high international standards in the training and development field.

The International Federation of Training and Development Organisations is
a UK based world-wide federation formed in 1972. It is committed to enhancing personal growth, human performance, productivity, and sustainable development through transfer of knowledge, skills and technology using its world-wide network.

 

Saturday, 27 April 2013 18:00

BRAC’s response to the Savar tragedy

28 April 2013, Dhaka. In order to help the victims of Savar tragedy, BRAC has initiated a host of emergency support activities through multiple medical and psychosocial counseling teams. BRAC aims to continue their efforts until the end of the rescue operation, and then initiate post-trauma rehabilitation activities.

Following the incident, BRAC’s health nutrition and population programme (HNPP) sent three medical teams to Savar, Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital and Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). The Savar medical team, located immediately outside the accident site, has so far provided treatment to a total of 117 patients within the first three days. The Savar team is also providing necessary support at Enam Medical College. In addition, the team has prepared a complete list of admitted patients who will require rehabilitation later.

The BRAC team at DMCH has continued their support on the third day, which included updating the patients' profile with complete address and contact details, and re-assessing the admitted patients’ psychological conditions. This team is working jointly with the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) and Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), to update the common patients’ profiles, listing the patients who have lost their limbs and will require rehabilitation support later. 

Aside from the medical teams, BRAC has dispatched four psychological trauma counseling teams comprising of four to six counselors from HNPP, community empowerment programme, disaster, environment and climate change programme (DECC), gender, justice and diversity programmeand BRAC University. The teams have visited DMCH, NITOR, Savar CMH and Enam Medical Hospital and assessed the counseling needs of a total of 115 admitted patients. The team will continue with the assessment process and start psychological trauma counseling support from 28April.

A special team organized by DECC and consisting of trained staff in counseling is currently providing psycho-social support to the rescued victims and the family members of those who have yet to be found. Another team has identified the number of children from BRAC schools who have lost one or both parents to the tragedy, and are receiving similar psycho-social support.

BRAC is accepting public donations for its relief efforts through BRAC UK and BRAC USA. Please click the check box on our donations page to earmark your donation for relief and rehabilitation.
 
BRAC USA is also accepting phone donations. To automatically contribute $10 to these efforts, please text “BRAC” to 20222 from any US mobile phone.


Contact details:

Disaster management:
Dr Babar Kabir
Sr Director, Disaster, Environment & Climate Change
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ph: 8801714091383

Human rights and PIL filed on labor law:
Dr Faustina Perreira
Director, Human Rights & Legal Aid Services.
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ph: 8801715007470

Media (Bangladesh):
Mahbubul Alam Kabir
Sr. Media Manager, Communications
BRAC
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ph: 8801711404561

International Media:
Tasfiyah Jalil
Manager, Communications
BRAC
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ph: 8801730351398
 

23 April 2013, Dhaka. BRAC held a launching ceremony for opening 330 community girls school in south Sudan on April 12, 2013. BRAC Education Programme in South Sudan has taken up this as a challenge considering the barriers in education in South Sudan which includes poverty, inability to pay school fees, lack of female teachers, long distance of schools etc. There are over 1.4 million children out of school and in the next five years BRAC will target 100,000 of them. A total of 9900 children from underprivileged and marginalized families will be enrolled in the 330 community schools. 330 trained female teachers will also be employed in these schools.

The launching ceremony was held at Home and Away Hotel in Juba, where HE Minister, Ministry of General Education and Instruction, HE under Secretary, Ministry of General Education and Instruction, Director General Alternative Education System and Deputy National AES Directorate were present. 

The ceremony received good media coverage from the national dailies. A one hour live discussion with DG of Alternative Education and Deputy Minister, Ministry of General Education and Instruction was also aired in Radio Miriya.
 

 

21 April 2013, Dhaka. BRAC and Averting Maternal Death and Disability programme of Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, co-hosted a two-day symposium on  “URBAN SPACE: INTEGRATED ACTION ON HEALTH, RIGHTS AND POVERTY REDUCTION” in April 19-20, 2013 at the BRAC Centre Auditorium in Dhaka.

With an objective to improve health programmes particularly in the urban slums, the symposium brought together a group of actors working on rights, development and service delivery issues for slum dwellers in the countries of four continents, namely Asia, Africa and the Americas.

At the panel discussion session, BRAC chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed pointed out that the plights the urban slum dwellers face are mainly caused by the ‘lack of pro-poor policies’.

‘The urban poor children have no future while the adults have no present. Often the urban poor end up paying more than the average city dweller to afford the daily services,’ said Sir Abed. Poor healthcare facilities and absence of adequate number of schools worsen their situation, he observed.

Sir Abed praised the facilities created by Manoshi, a programme BRAC has undertaken to ensure healthcare for pregnant mothers and newborn babies living in slums in seven cities of the country.

‘Manoshi is highly successful in its contribution to reducing maternal and neo-natal death rate, reaching more than seven million people across the country,’ he said, urging the government to formulate and implement more pro-poor policies

Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, founder and executive chairman of Power And Participation Research Centre, emphasized the strategy to classify the urban slums to tackle the multifaceted challenges the people living there face every day.

‘Though living in urban areas can provide one with economic opportunities, the social opportunities in terms of health and education become very narrow,’ Dr. Zillur said, adding, ‘The urban poor face the problem of statistical invisibility and legal ambiguity. The mobility of the slum population further increases the challenges of delivering services in an effective manner.’

Additional secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Aiub Rahman Khan and additional secretary of the LGRD ministry Swapan Kumar Sarker spoke, among others. Representatives from Columbia University, USA, WHO, UNDP, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Dustho Shastyo Kendro (DSK) were also present.

Currently, around 12 million (1.2 crore) people, which means  30 per cent of the country’s urban population, live in slums or are in floating condition in urban areas.
 

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