The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) is a non-governmental organization founded in Bangladesh in 1972. It is surprisingly obscure despite its impacts. These are 10 facts about BRAC that are necessary to understand more about the organization.
10 Facts About BRAC
- BRAC is the largest non-governmental organization (NGO) in the world. The Economist described it as “the largest, fastest-growing non-governmental organization in the world–and one of the most businesslike.”
- BRAC’s mission is to alleviate poverty and encourage economic participation by empowering people through social and economic programs.
- Founder Fazle Hasan Abed created BRAC after becoming disillusioned with poverty in Bangladesh. Now, BRAC has a positive impact in the poorest Asian and African countries in the world, reaching an estimated 138 million people.
- BRAC is funded by the Omidyar Network, which invests in impactful NGOs to bring about social change. This allows BRAC’s programs to be very effective and far-reaching.
- In 2016, BRAC successfully put 400,000 young children in primary school, gave 90 percent of households in obscure locations healthcare and lifted 86,975 households in Bangladesh out of extreme poverty.
- BRAC uses its money wisely. It was awarded an AAA rating by the Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh Ltd (CRAB). This is the highest rating that it could have received from CRAB.
- BRAC approaches poverty differently than other NGOs. Using a businesslike approach, BRAC understands that there are factors beyond economics that account for why people are impoverished. BRAC tackles social issues and inequality as well as using its funds to ensure its impacts are more sustainable.
- BRAC has four main projects, including social development, social enterprises, investments and a university.
- BRAC University is in Dhaka, Bangladesh and is modeled after the NGO. It fosters goodwill by encouraging students to work in careers involved with national development and progress post-graduation.
- BRAC enterprises allow individuals to break out of the chains of poverty by equipping them with the necessary tools needed to have a more profound participation in the economy. As a result, it has established many enterprises, one of which is BRAC Dairy, which has become Bangladesh’s top dairy producer and ensures fair prices and treatment for dairy workers. Another example of a BRAC enterprise is BRAC Sanitary Napkin and Delivery Kit, which produces feminine hygiene products to encourage women to stay in school, and home birth delivery kits to ensure that births are sanitary and safe.
These 10 facts about BRAC truly show how influential BRAC is as an NGO. Despite making such large strides already, BRAC does not foresee slowing down anytime soon. In 2021, it aims to empower 20 million individuals to get the services they need and help 110 million people in Bangladesh that are living in poverty.
– Mary McCarthy