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Fazle Hasan Abed

Fazle Hasan Abed is the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC. Fazle is the recipient of numerous awards includig the Open Society Prize (2013), WISE Prize for Education (2011), Conrad Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Award (2009), David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007), Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership (2007), Gates Award for Global Health (2004), UNDP Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution in Human Development (2004). He was appointed by the UN Secretary-General to the Eminent Persons Group for the Least Developed Countries (2010). Additionally, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) (2010).

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Hybrid Social Enterprise
Education and Skills; Gender Parity
Areas of Impact
South Asia, Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan, Bangladesh


BRAC has been fighting poverty, illiteracy and child mortality, while supporting women's health and development on a large scale in rural Bangladesh for over four decades. BRAC mobilizes the capacity of the poor to improve their own lives through self-organization.

BRAC's programmes address problems such as unemployment, environmental hazards, gender inequality, education and health. In the 1980s for example, its campaign to disseminate oral rehydration therapy for diarrhoeal disease played a major role in halving Bangladesh's infant mortality rate.

BRAC’s clients monitor and evaluate programmes themselves, as well as conduct systematic research and development. As a result BRAC has identified backward and forward market links needed to boost economic opportunities for the poor. When BRAC found that poor women were not profiting from rearing milking cows, it improved the breed of cow (a backward link) and set up a modern dairy (a forward link). Above all, it helped shift the global development paradigm from that of helping needy beneficiaries to encouraging the self-development of villagers, particularly women.

BRAC’s full-time staff of 28,000 has helped 3.8 million poor women establish 100,000 village organizations. Its health programmes reach 10 million people, its non-formal schools cater to 1.2 million children (of which 70% are girls), and its microcredit programme has disbursed US$ 1.8 billion in loans with a reported 98% repayment rate. BRAC is now working in Afghanistan to support reconstruction efforts.