BRAC founder Fazle Hasan Abed dies aged 83.


Dhaka -- Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), one of the world's largest NGOs, has died in Dhaka aged 83, the charity said.

Abed passed away while undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, according to a BRAC statement released Friday.

"We will honour his legacy with the same resilience, dignity and humility that he has instilled in us," the statement said.

Abed trained as an accountant in London and quit his well-paid job with oil giant Shell when war broke out in Bangladesh in 1971.

Using the proceeds of the sale of his London flat, he founded BRAC after the bloody battle for independence ended the following year.

At first, BRAC helped millions of refugees who streamed back into the new country, and then it diversified into healthcare, micro-finance, agriculture and education.

"BRAC decided to look at poverty as a multi-dimensional syndrome: not just income poverty, but poverty in terms of healthcare, in terms of education, the things that keep poor people poor," he said in an interview in 2010.

The NGO's approach has been hailed as one factor behind the drop in the proportion of Bangladeshis living in extreme poverty from 80 percent to around 40 percent of the population.

The approach proved so successful that BRAC, which has more than 100,000 local employees...

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