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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. BRAC, an international development organisation based in Bangladesh, is the largest non-governmental development organisation in the world, in terms of number of employees as of September 2016. Established by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed in 1972 after the independence of Bangladesh, BRAC is present in all 64 districts of Bangladesh as well as 13 other countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
BRAC states that it employs over 100,000 people, roughly 70 percent of whom are women, and that it reaches more than 126 million people with its services. The organisation is partly self-funded through a number of social enterprises that include a dairy and food project, a chain of retail handicraft stores called Aarong, seed and Agro, and chicken. BRAC has operations in 14 countries of the world.
Known formerly as the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, then as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, and later as Building Resources Across Communities, BRAC was initiated in 1972 by Sir Fazlé Hasan Abed at Shallah Upazillah in the district of Sunamganj as a small-scale relief and rehabilitation project to help returning war refugees after the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. BRAC claims to have done this within nine months, as well as opening medical centres and providing other essential services.
Until the mid-1970s, BRAC concentrated on community development through village development programmes that included agriculture, fisheries, cooperatives, rural crafts, adult literacy, health and family planning, vocational training for women and construction of community centres. That same year BRAC set up a commercial printing press to help finance its activities. The handicraft retail chain called Aarong, was established the following year.
Non Formal Primary Education was started by BRAC in 1985. In 1991, the Women’s Health Development program commenced.
Its Social Development, Human Rights and Legal Services programme was launched in 1996. In 1998, BRAC’s Dairy and Food project was commissioned. BRAC launched an Information Technology Institute the following year.
In 2001, BRAC established a university called BRAC University. The neutrality of this section is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met.
They remind us that even the most intractable health problems are solvable, and inspire us to match their success throughout the developing world. Microfinance, introduced in 1974, is BRAC’s oldest programme.