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Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson, Brac And Dr. Caroline Harper, Chief Executive, Sightsavers

2795 words - 12 pages

Sir Dr. Fazle Hasan Abed



Native name ফজলে হাসান আবেদ
Born 27 April 1936 (age 77)
Baniachong, British India
(now Habiganj, Bangladesh)
Residence Bangladesh
Nationality Bangladeshi
Ethnicity Bengali
Citizenship British
Education Naval Architecture
Alma mater Dhaka College
University of Glasgow
Occupation Social worker
Known for Founder and chairman of BRAC
Parents Siddiq Hasan (father)
Syeda Sufya Khatun (mother)

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, KCMG (Bengali: ফজলে হাসান আবেদ; born 27 April 1936) is a Bangladeshi social worker and the ...view middle of the document...

Abed returned to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to join Shell Oil Company and quickly rose to head its finance division. His time at Shell exposed Abed to the inner workings of a large conglomerate and provided him with insight into corporate management, which would become invaluable to him later in life.
It was during his time at Shell that the devastating cyclone of 1970 hit the south and south-eastern coastal regions of the country, killing 300,000 people. The cyclone had a profound effect on Abed - in the face of such devastation, the comforts and perks of a corporate executive's life ceased to have any attraction for him. Together with friends, Abed created HELP, an organization that provided relief and rehabilitation to the worst affected in the island of Manpura, which had lost three quarters of its population in the disaster.
Soon after, Bangladesh’s own struggle for independence from Pakistan began and circumstances forced Abed to leave the country. He found refuge in England, where he set up Action Bangladesh to lobby for his country’s independence with the governments of Europe..

Formation of BRAC
When the war ended in December 1971, Abed sold his flat in London and returned to the newly independent Bangladesh to find his country in ruins. In addition, the 10 million refugees who had sought shelter in India during the war had started to return home. Their relief and rehabilitation called for urgent efforts. Abed decided to use the funds he had generated from selling his flat to initiate his own. He selected the remote region of Sulla in northeastern Bangladesh to start his work. This work led him and the organisation he founded, BRAC, to deal with the long-term task of improving the living conditions of the rural poor.
In a span of only three decades, BRAC grew to become the largest development organisation in the world in terms of the scale and diversity of its interventions. As BRAC grew, Abed ensured that it continued to target the landless poor, particularly women, a large percentage of whom live below the poverty line with little or no access to resources or conventional development efforts.
BRAC now operates in more than 69 thousand villages of Bangladesh and covers an estimated 110 million people through its development interventions that range from primary education, essential healthcare, agricultural support and human rights and legal services to microfinance and enterprise development. It is now considered the largest non-profit in the world - both by employees and people served.
In 2002, BRAC went international by taking its range of development interventions to Afghanistan. Since then, BRAC has expanded to a total of 10 countries across Asia and Africa, successfully adapting its unique integrated development model across varying geographic and socioeconomic contexts and covering an additional 16 million people....

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