Earlier this month, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairman of BRAC, was awarded the 2015 World Food Prize, which honours contributions to the improvement of food supply. BRAC (formally Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) is the largest development organisation in the world and has been working to enhance food security and alleviate poverty since it was founded by Sir Fazle in 1972. For over 40 years, BRAC, which operates in 11 countries around the world, has implemented a range of development programmes that have benefited nearly 150 million people. Sir Fazle (pictured, left) has applauded these people as “the real heroes” in the BRAC story.
Sir Fazle, who will receive prize money of $250 000, has been integral in BRAC’s success. He successfully pioneered a new approach to development by addressing the interactions between hunger and poverty. He encouraged staff to spend time learning about challenges on the ground, allowing their innovative techniques to be tailored to the area, taking the specific challenges into consideration. Furthermore, throughout his time at BRAC, Sir Fazle has continuously highlighted the importance of integrating gender into the programmes and ensuring that women feel empowered to take control of their own lives. Development programmes have been criticised in the past for not taking full consideration of gender. To read CABI’s project and programme gender strategy, click here.
World Food Prize President, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn praised BRAC for their work to enhance food security at a time when the world is working to find solutions to the challenge of feeding over 9 billion people. BRAC’s agriculture programmes help countries to increase their agricultural productivity so that they become self-sufficient, while also ensuring food production is environmentally sustainable and adaptable to climate change. These programmes have so far been implemented in 6 countries around the world, Bangladesh, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Liberia and South Sudan.
Shortly before the news of Sir Fazle’s award was announced, Bangladesh, where BRAC is based, was praised for successfully achieving the Millennium Development Goal to halve hunger by 2015.
Read more about the Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and past World Food Prize laureates on the World Food Prize website.
To see more about how Plantwise is contributing to food security around the world, visit our clinic locations page.