Sulla, the location of BRAC’s very first project initiated in 1972, would lay the cornerstones of what would become the world’s largest and fastest growing development organisation. Remembering Abed Bhai on his 85th birthday, we look back on BRAC's beginning in Sulla and reflect on the many lessons to be carried forward.
Conventional wisdom is that the health of young children is not at great risk from COVID-19, but, in the Global South, the space constraints imposed on young children by the pandemic pose a significant risk to the stimulation on which brain development thrives. Early childhood development is further jeopardised by the pandemic’s impact on caregivers.
A 2015 survey found that over half of the married women and girls in Bangladesh had suffered some form of abuse. Less than 3% of these survivors took legal action. Seeking justice without basic knowledge of the legal system is difficult, particularly for women from low-income families. How is BRAC helping to change that? Through barefoot lawyers.
A saying goes in Africa: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have not spent a night with a mosquito”. The five millimetre species has overwhelmed humankind for over 500,000 years, making it one of the world's deadliest antiquated disease-carriers. Bangladesh, however, has made remarkable progress over the past 50 years in battling malaria, one of the most deadly diseases the mosquito carries.
One in seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced due to climate change by 2050. The geographical location of the country already makes it vulnerable to climatic hazards, and the impacts of climate change have compounded these vulnerabilities. BRAC has been taking both mitigation and adaptation measures in response to the changing climate. Here is a snapshot of some of the ways BRAC is putting the Earth first.
Bangladesh ranks seventh in the global top ten most affected countries in the climate risk index 2021 report. Approximately 13.3 million Bangladeshis are estimated to be displaced by 2050 due to climate change impacts. To combat challenges of climate-induced disasters, learning from the past can be instrumental in reducing risks and better support people living in ultra-poverty.
Health crises have huge social and economic costs as witnessed in the recent COVID-19 pandemic. BRAC is addressing this challenge by promoting preventive healthcare and raising awareness about this deadly pathogen.
On 20 May, 2020, super cyclone Amphan tore through the coastal regions of southern Bangladesh. Sufia Begum emerged from the safety of a cyclone shelter with her husband only to find their home destroyed by a fallen tree. Seeing the damage, she broke down in tears. “We were already struggling to manage food,” she said. “Where do we live now? Where will we get the money to repair the house?”