BRAC has partnered with Handicap International-Humanity & Inclusion (HI) in Bangladesh to launch a pilot disability-inclusive ultra-poor Graduation programme targeting the ultra-poor populations in four districts of Bangladesh. On 24 November 2020, Shameran Abed, Senior Director, Microfinance and Ultra-Poor Graduation initiative of BRAC, and Rajesh Chandra, Country Director of HI signed the agreement in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
BRAC has been committed to strengthening inclusion of people living in ultra-poverty as well as people with disabilities through its Graduation programme, and in 2018 collaborated with Handicap International-Humanity & Inclusion United Kingdom (UK) to bring in disability inclusion in its global programmatic activities.
In this pilot programme, HI will tailor its technical assistance to the specific needs of BRAC’s UPG programme. BRAC will implement the programme targeting 1,200 participants with disabilities or a family member with disability to enhance their socio-economic development. This two-year partnership will cater to the needs of the participants and their households during the 24-months programme cycle.
Terming the partnership between BRAC and HI as a ‘milestone’ in BRAC’s endeavour to make Graduation programme more inclusive to the most marginalised and vulnerable groups, Shameran Abed said, “The strategic partnership will strengthen our collective effort to lift people with disabilities out of ultra-poverty. This will enhance BRAC’s capacity to implement disability inclusive Graduation approach at scale in Bangladesh and globally, and assist respective governments to adapt the approach based on the country context”. Rajesh Chandra from HI also said, “Aligned with its worldwide strategy to ‘leave no one behind’, Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is delighted to extend in Bangladesh its global collaboration with BRAC. This technical partnership will support economic empowerment of people with disabilities in four districts of Bangladesh. HI, along with other organisations of people with disabilities aspires to support the Government of Bangladesh to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in development”.
Since its inception in 2002, BRAC’s UPG programme has served almost 2.1 million ultra-poor households to achieve socio-economic resilience. Its groundbreaking Graduation approach has provided a proven pathway out of extreme poverty. BRAC’s work in Bangladesh is supported by Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).