Almost each day these days, I wake up and make my way to the makeshift camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar, the site of the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis of recent times. Life in these settlements is brutal- I see the struggles of the women, men and children who have recently arrived, most exhausted and traumatised.
Deep inside the chaotic makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar, is a spacious, shaded, colourful place. A bamboo structure with handmade decorations hanging from the walls. Curious onlookers gather outside the thatched windows, attracted by the rhythm.
The Government of Bangladesh has opened its doors to close to half a million people from the Rakhine state of Myanmar in the last four weeks. Now comes the difficult part — managing the crisis inside Bangladesh.
On 27 April, our founder and chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed- our very own Abed bhai- will turn 80. Leading economist and freedom fighter, Dr Rehman Sobhan, shared this tribute to one of his most cherished friends.
BRAC’s work in fighting poverty goes right back to the birth of Bangladesh, a time filled with possibilities but also one that posed some of the most daunting challenges. This post is the first in a series of blogs taking the reader back to the roots of a devastated nation and the people who stood by it. Andrew Jenkins has been with BRAC since its early days. His work then involved famine relief infrastructure and urban resettlement among others. He went on to lead a string of noteworthy research publications. In this blog Jenkins recounts the famine of 1974-5 when he first arrived in Bangladesh with Oxfam to join an emergency team.