It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the globally renowned founder of BRAC, the development organization. Sir Fazle’s contributions to poverty alleviation and sustainable development in Bangladesh and around the world are sources of great inspiration for the United Nations.
Sir Fazle’s vision became BRAC’s vision: A world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination. He was a strong advocate for women, and through BRAC, he designed development models that placed women at the centre. Sir Fazle also understood that opportunity starts through education, and developed an education model that has been replicated around the globe.
Sir Fazle’s work also reflected the changing needs of society. For Bangladesh in the 1970s, diarrhea was the biggest killer. Sir Fazle helped the country make dramatic advances in overcoming the disease through a highly effective national campaign. Today, the focus is shifting towards resilience in the face of climate change and humanitarian crises. BRAC today is among the main responders to the Rohingya crisis.
I know that BRAC will continue to keep alive the vision of its founder. At this time of sorrow, my thoughts are with Sir Fazle’s family and those touched by this loss. The United Nations will stand with you in carrying forward his important work.