02 August 2010, Dhaka. With the heavy rainfalls and the ensuing flood in Pakistan, BRAC has temporarily halted its normal operations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly the North-West Frontier Province) and is focusing on providing relief work. BRAC seeks to bring to the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa our years of experience in flood relief work in Bangladesh, a flood-prone country.
Reuters/Adrees Latif, courtesy www.alertnet.org
“We want to cover 4,000 families,” says BRAC Pakistan CEO Mr. Faridhur Rahman, referring to the number of families to whom BRAC aims to deliver food such as rice, lentils, and flour in the next four days. The shortage of food is acute.
To combat the threat of diarrheal diseases breaking out, BRAC will also be distributing Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). This is a staple commodity distributed by BRAC’s health program in every country where we operate, including Pakistan. Additionally, BRAC will be sending a medical team for assessment of health needs there.
Of the houses that are still standing many are under water. BRAC’s staff in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa expect the water to recede in 2-3 days, but “this part of Pakistan is not accustomed to floods,” says Mr. Anisur Rahman, BRAC Pakistan’s Microfinance Program Manager. “In Bangladesh, we are used to this so we can prevent casualties there. But here the families and communities we serve are not used to this. We want to help because of BRAC’s experience of dealing with floods in Bangladesh over the years.”
BRAC Pakistan has been operating in Pakistan since 2007. Of BRAC’s 12 offices in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 9 are under water and 3 are of limited use. However, BRAC’s existing infrastructure in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the form of branch offices and the extensive network of local staff give BRAC a starting point through which relief will be delivered.
“Many families that we serve have seen their houses washed away. Many houses of our staff members were also washed away. But as a BRAC staff member they can be effective in delivering relief to the families and communities that they serve every day,” Mr. Rahman says.
“Vehicles cannot go in to flooded areas, and there is a lack of boats in this area. We have no choice but to wade through water and deliver relief supplies on foot where we can, even in flooded areas.”
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03 November 2009, Dhaka. A high profile delegate consisting four members of UK parliament visited several core programs of BRAC at Shirajgonj on 2nd November, 2009. The delegate came to Bangladesh to watch the development projects funded by DFID in Bangladesh.
In the morning the delegate visited the BRAC's Pre- Primary school and Government Primary school at char Kalyani, in Shirajganj. They spoke with students as well as their parents. Later they also visited the Government general hospital and Comprehensive Reproductive Health Clinic.
The team visited Choneka, a member of BRAC's ‘CFPR-TUP living in Ariya Mohon. They enquired her about various issues relating to her well-being. The team also met Razia, Sobura, Sakina and Aysha, members of CFPR (TUP) and became familiar with their income generating activities. They had a discourse with the Village Poverty Alleviation Committee, Health workers, Panel Doctors, members of the Health Forum. Later the group observed the activities and the class of the Legal aid Centre and the panel of the lawyers.
The members of the UK Parliament are John Battle, Mark Hendrick, Marsha Singh from Labor party, and Nigel Evans from Conservative party. Danial Davis from DFID and from BRAC officers Tania Zaman, Director Chairperson's Office, Faruque Ahmed, Director, Health Programme, Safiqul Islam, Director, Education Programme, Dr. Faustina Pereira, Director, Human Rights and Legal Services Programme and Rabeya Yasmin, Programme Head, Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty-Targeting the Ultra Poor were also present.
08 November 2009, Dhaka. BRAC received the 2009 silver award for Social Performance Reporting. The award is launched by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, and powered by MIX (Microfinance Information Exchange). The award is designed to promote greater transparency in Microfinance Institutions’ social performance and recognises transparency in social performance reporting.
MIX Press Release: http://www.themix.org/press-release/recipients-2009-social-performance-reporting-award-announced (external link)
Global Handwashing Day was celebrated in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on 26 October 2015 led by the regional department of education and department of health. With the commitment to improve the performance of children in schools, the DepEd-ARMM decided to celebrate the event annually with a regular carry out of the Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) activities including bi-annual deworming. This is the fourth year for the event to be celebrated in this region.
BRAC Philippines along with other government and non-government organizations celebrated the event in Cotabato City. To date, more than half of the 845 learning centers of the alternative delivery model (ADM) project have integrated the EHCP in their classroom sessions in partnership with GIZ Philippines. The learning facilitators conduct daily group tooth brushing and hand washing with soap in BRAC Learning Centers as part of their daily classroom activities. EHCP aims to show children the importance of personal hygiene.
Dr John Magno, DepEd-ARMM secretary noted that ‘handwashing with soap is a low-cost but effective intervention to prevent hygiene-related illnesses among school children in the region.’
08 November 2009, Dhaka. BRAC was awarded the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Best Presented Accounts award for 2008. Mr. S.N. Kairy, Finance Director of BRAC, received the award on behalf of BRAC at a ceremony held on November 5th, 2009 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Hall in Dhaka, Bangladesh. BRAC previously received the SAFA award for the year 2007, which was presented in Hyderabad last year.
SAFA is a forum of professional accountancy bodies committed to developing the accountancy profession in the South Asian region. The Best Presented Accounts awards are conferred on the basis of evaluation administered by SAFA's Committee for Improvement in Transparency, Accountability and Governance of published annual reports from South Asian countries.
In November 2009, Ariful Islam, Country Programme Coordinator of BRAC Uganda disbursed the 100,000th loan to Sarah who was pleasantly surprised to realise that she was BRAC Uganda’s 100,000th borrower.
BRAC Uganda’s success is the result of the dedication, hard-work and commitment of the staff in Uganda and also due to the leadership and vision provided by BRAC’s senior management team in Bangladesh.
25 November 2009, Dhaka. The first ever “Entrepreneur for the World” Award in the Social Entrepreneur category was awarded to BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed. He received the award during a ceremony at the World Entrepreneurship Forum held on November 19, 2009 in Lyon, France.
photo courtesy: Pierto/Sipa Press
The World Entrepreneurship Forum was established by EMLYON Business School, the leading European business school in entrepreneurship, and KPMG, the leading tax, audit and advisory services company. The Forum is founded on the conviction that the entrepreneur is a creator of wealth and social justice. The World Entrepreneurship Forum awards started in 2008 and 2009 is the first year that the Social Entrepreneur category was included in the awards category.
Patrick Molle, president of EMLYON Business School, and Jean-Luc Decornoy, chairman of KPMG SA, presented Abed with the award “to highlight his more than 30 years at the head of one of the largest non-government development organisations in the world. This award is granted to a personality who has greatly improved the life of the community. Fazle Hasan Abed is a social worker and visionary. He left his job to devote himself to Bangladesh’s War of Independence. Abed initiated BRAC, the largest non-government development organisation in the world in terms of size and diversity of interventions.”
“Entrepreneur for the World” Awards are presented in four categories: in the Entrepreneur category Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera Corporation and KDDI Corporation in Japan received the award; Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland, received the award in the Politician category; and in the Expert category, Bert Twaalfhoven from the Netherlands, founder of 51 high tech companies in 11 countries was awarded.
Fazle Hasan Abed has been honoured with numerous international awards for his achievements within BRAC, among which: the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1980); Unicef's Maurice Pate Award (1992); Olof Palme Award (2001); Gates Award for Global Health (2004); Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership (2007). Clinton Global Citizenship Award (2007) as well as several honourary degrees from renowned universities including Columbia, Yale and Oxford.
11 November 2009, Dhaka. BRAC and the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) signed an agreement on Wednesday to support BRAC’s initiatives to strengthen grassroots democracy and local governance. Under the agreement UNDEF will provide support to BRAC’s Social Development Programme for implementation of a project titled Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government (ACALG).
The agreement was signed by Mr. Roland Rich, Executive Head of UNDEF and Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director of BRAC, at the BRAC Centre in Dhaka. Tania Zaman, Director, BRAC Chairperson’s Office (Chief of Staff), Anna Minj, Director, Social Development Programme and head office staff of BRAC Social Development Programme were also present in the signing ceremony.
Mr. Rich stated, “One of the reasons we were attracted to BRAC was that BRAC is giving people voice in their own communities to deal with government authorities. And voice is fundamental to democracy.” He added that BRAC was a strong and well-established group who can deliver the task.
The Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government (ACALG) project is a two year project which will be implemented in the districts of Bogra and Jessore. The project aims to create conditions for more active civic engagement among rural and semi-urban poor citizens and to strengthen capacities of local government to provide more accountable and effective governance.
The objectives of the project are to develop capacities of both the local government and rural citizens to plan and deliver accountable and more equitable services and resource allocation, and to create accessible sources of information about civic rights, local government and its services. Moreover, the project aims to transform bureaucratic practices at the local level to be more responsive to the needs of the poor.
25 November 2009, Dhaka. The First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety was held at the Russian Federation in Moscow on 19 - 20 November 2009. Ahmed Najmul Hussain, Director, BRAC attended the conference as part of a four member country delegation headed by Bangladesh Communication Minister Sayed Abul Hussain. Mr. Hussain gave a presentation on BRAC Road Safety programme achievements.
The Conference was opened by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who called for urgent global action on road safety. More than 70 ministers and 1000 high-level representatives of governments, non-governmental and international organisations from nearly 140 countries attended the first-ever governmental- Minister-level meeting on road safety. In a statement delivered by Director-General of the United Nations office in Geneva, Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze, and United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon stressed the importance of regional commissions’ work for road safety.
The Conference adopted a declaration aiming to reduce the global toll of road deaths. The document declares 2011-2020 a decade of action for road safety, it appeals to the international donor community to ensure funding for global, regional and national road safety programmes and it emphasizes the necessity to evaluate progress. The declaration will be the basis for the fifth UN resolution on the subject.
In the closing session speakers from the WHO, World Bank, FIA Foundation and UK transport minister Paul Clark MP joined the head of the Russian traffic police, General Victor Kiryanov, and the Russian Interior Minister, Rashid Nurgaliev, to endorse the proposed decade and begin to set out plans for global coordination of the unprecedented effort to reduce road traffic injuries.
10 January 2010, Dhaka. Expressed Mr. John Denham, UK Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government while visiting BRAC Primary education programme in one of BRAC schools in Korail Slum, Dhaka. He was accompanied by Stephen Evans, the British High Commissioner, Chris Austin, DFID Country Representative, Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director of BRAC, Safiqul Islam, Director of BRAC Education programme and other british delegates including Neil O'Connor, Director, Cohesion Directorate, Department for Communities and Local Government; Sarah Montgomery, Private Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government; Jake Sumner, Adviser, Department for Communities and Local Government and Mohammed Abdul Aziz, Adviser, Department for Communities and Local Government.
The Secretary talked to the students and their teacher and observed class activities. Mr. Denham said, “I think it is tremendous to see these children given the opportunity of a basic education which their parents never had. This education would improve their lives in the future. And I think the work that BRAC is doing and the British Government is supporting by working with BRAC is really important. It does not matter where you are in the world or what your background is, you should have the opportunity to make the most of your talent and ability and that is what I think this school is doing.”