Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of Brac, the largest NGO on the planet, has been awarded the 2015 World Food prize. The prize which comes with a $250,000 award is the most prominent global award for individuals whose breakthrough achievements alleviate hunger and promote global food security. Sir Aben has been awarded the prize for his “unparalleled” work on reducing poverty in Bangladesh and 10 other countries.
— BRAC (@BRACworld) July 1, 2015
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed had a prestigious career working for Shell Oil in 1970. He left his corporate job and 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 caused by a tropical cyclone. Abed sold his home in London to start the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee and make it work.
During the ceremony, Dr MS Swaminathan, chair of the World Food prize selection committee and the first World Food prize laureate in 1987, described Abed as a “strategic thinker, and a man with a future vision”. “While funding was important, Abed realised that the organisation needed some internal financial resources in order to steer its course, rather than become diverted by donor agendas,” he added.
— World Food Prize (@WorldFoodPrize) July 1, 2015
BRAC expanded from Bangladesh and now operates in 10 other poor countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Haiti. Brac’s agriculture and food security programs have helped an estimated 500,000-plus farmers access better farming and livestock techniques, new technologies and financial support.
Abed, who has awarded numerous awards, described the award as a “tremendous honor”, adding: “I’m sure this will be a great joy for our staff and energize them even more. It’s a great satisfaction for us to receive recognition of the work we’ve done for the last 43 years.”
Sources: The Gurdian, The Des Moines Register