Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh has been awarded the 2015 winner of the World Food Prize, the most prominent award for individuals whose achievements alleviate hunger and promote global food security. The announcement was by Tom Vilsack who made remarks at an event by the U.S. State Department.
“I offer my sincerest congratulations to Sir Fazle and appreciation for the progress he has made in improving people’s lives, alleviating hunger, and providing pathways out of poverty. Sir Fazle’s and his organization’s recognition that engaging women in STEAM fields—science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and math—benefits our local and global communities is a vision that we share at USDA.” said Vilsack.
Awarded by the World Food Prize Foundation, the $250,000 prize honors Sir Fazle’s unparalleled achievement in building the unique, integrated development organization BRAC, which is headquartered in Bangladesh and operates programs in 10 other countries around the globe. Since he created it over 40 year ago, Sir Fazle’s organization has provided the opportunity for nearly 150 million people worldwide to improve their lives, have enhanced food security and follow a pathway out of poverty through its dynamic and effective development programs.
BRAC, which was formally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, has been hailed as the most effective anti-poverty organization in the world. Its agricultural and development innovations have improved food security for millions and contributed to a significant decline in poverty levels through direct impacts to farmers and small communities across the globe. Today BRAC operates 18 financially and socially profitable enterprises, across health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, education, green energy, printing and retail sectors, and has been responsible for extraordinary advancements in the poultry, seed, and dairy industries in Bangladesh and other countries in which it operates in Africa.
“At a time when the world confronts the great challenge of feeding over nine billion people, Sir Fazle Abed and BRAC, the organization he founded and leads, have created the preeminent model being followed around the globe on how to educate girls, empower women and lift whole generations out of poverty. For this monumental achievement, Sir Fazle truly deserves recognition as the 2015 World Food Prize Laureate,” commented World Food Prize President, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn.
This announcement comes on the heels of applause for Bangladesh by the United Nations for meeting the Millennium Development Goal, to halve hunger by the year 2015.
Sir Fazle will receive his award at a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines, Iowa on October 15, 2015. The celebration is part of a international symposium to discuss issues in global food security. Also included in the World Food Prize events is the three-day Global Youth Institute, which includes 400 participants from the U.S. and abroad and is designed to inspire the next generation of high school students to explore careers in agriculture and fighting hunger.