Bangladesh-Based Poverty Group Founder Wins World Food Prize

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A man who created a nonprofit organization credited with helping more than 150 million people out of poverty was named the winner of the 2015 World Food Prize on Wednesday.

Fazle Hasan Abed, of Bangladesh, created BRAC, the organization originally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, as a temporary relief organization to help the country recover from the 1970 typhoon that killed about 500,000 people and the subsequent war fought in 1971 to win independence from Pakistan. Bangladesh was once listed as the second poorest country in the world.

BRAC has grown into one of the world’s largest nongovernmental organizations focused on alleviating poverty — estimated to have helped more than 150 million people out of poverty in Africa and Asia and is expanding efforts to 10 additional countries.

“Poverty is a multidimensional thing. It’s not just lack of income or lack of employment, it’s also lack of opportunity, lack of education, lack of opportunity for health care and so on,” Abed, 79, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Bangladesh.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the prize on Wednesday at the State Department in Washington.

The World Food Prize was created by Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food. The foundation that awards the $250,000 prize is based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Source: The Associated Press (link opens in a new window)

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Agriculture
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agribusiness, farmers