Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was in news in the first week of July 2015 as he was selected for the 2015 World Food Prize. The announcement was made in this regard on 1 July 2015 by the World Food Prize Foundation.
He was selected for the prestigious award for his contributions towards reducing hunger in Bangladesh and 10 other countries through his organisation BRAC.
Contributions of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed
• He established BRAC, formerly known as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, in 1972 as a relief operation to help the country recover from its war of independence with Pakistan and the destruction wrought by a tropical cyclone.
• At present, BRAC is the largest non-governmental organisation in the world employing over 150000 employees.
• BRAC covers a vast gamut of activities related to poverty alleviation and development in 11 countries including Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Haiti.
• His approach toward alleviation of poverty and hunger is multi dimensional that is evident from BARC’s activities towards increasing food availability and accessibility through modern agricultural practices, social and economic empowerment of women, child immunization, family planning, education, micro finance, legal services, etc.
• Due to BRAC’s work on tackling child mortality in Bangladesh in the 1980s, the number of deaths halved over a decade.
• In the areas where the BRAC works, the child immunisation rate is at 95 percent compared to that of 70 percent in other parts of the country.
• BARC relied on internal resources to fund its activities. Hence, a number of commercial enterprises were set up as part of the BRAC in order to generate resources for its developmental activities. These include printing presses, manufacturing industries, a hotel, conference facilities, retail outlets and the private BRAC University, among others.
• He was conferred with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1980, the Maurice Pate Award by UNICEF in 1992. He was also honoured with the prestigious Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) or Sir Honour in 2010 by the Queen of England.
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Who: Sir Fazle Hasan Abed