DG Corner – News from the Director General

BRAC founder named World Food Prize laureate

July 2, 2015
by Shenggen Fan

IFPRI extends its heartfelt congratulations to BRAC Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, who was just announced as this year’s World Food Prize laureate. Sir Fazle has worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to tackle poverty and hunger in Bangladesh and beyond, and has been instrumental in helping Bangladesh meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger by 2015—one of the few countries in the world to do so.

Sir Fazle established BRAC after Bangladesh’s war for independence, to rehabilitate returning refugees in a remote area in northeastern Bangladesh. The organization was an innovator of microcredit, helping poor households at the grassroots level through village development programs in a wide range of sectors, from agriculture and fisheries to health and family planning. Under Sir Fazle’s leadership during the past four decades, BRAC has become the largest development organization in the world, and has expanded beyond Bangladesh to work in 10 other countries.

Sir Fazle Abed is a valued friend of IFPRI, serving as a member of the 2020 and Strategic Advisory Council, and IFPRI is proud to have worked closely with BRAC—and Bangladeshi ministries as well as research, development, and civil society organizations—for more than two decades, conducting food policy research and analysis to support Bangladesh in its quest to achieve food security and nutrition for all citizens. We have collaborated with BRAC on a number of projects in Bangladesh and continue to do so. Under the IFPRI-led LANSA program, BRAC leads research on establishing a strong linkage between agriculture and nutrition, and engages key stakeholders in the process. IFPRI and BRAC are also partners in the Alive & Thrive initiative, which promotes community-based interventions to reduce child stunting. We hope to continue this strong partnership well into the future.

IFPRI applauds the World Food Prize Foundation’s tremendous recognition of Sir Fazle’s many efforts.