Bangladesh NGO supporting Rohingya refugees wins 2018 OFID Annual Award for Development

25.06.2018 | E27/2018

From left: HE Abdulwahab A Al-Bader, OFID Governing Board Chairman;
Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury, Vice Chairperson, BRAC International; HE Dr Carlos
Alberto Patricio Játiva Naranjo, Ecuadorean Ambassador in Austria and
OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish.

Vienna, Austria, June 25, 2018. The 2018 OFID Annual Award for Development has been conferred upon the Bangladesh-based BRAC. The non-governmental organization (NGO) will receive US$100,000 from OFID in recognition of its support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

BRAC has launched the largest civil society response in support of the newly arrived Rohingya refugees. This response is meeting the immediate needs of vulnerable people, while building skills, resilience and awareness that will facilitate their long-term wellbeing as the situation evolves.

Since launching its response activities, BRAC has provided over 660,000 people with at least one form of critical support. The NGO is working closely with the government of Bangladesh, the United Nations, and local and international organizations, and will continue to provide a range of services through its integrated, community-based approach. BRAC has so far mobilized around US$37 million from different partners in its efforts to strengthen the humanitarian work in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

The OFID Annual Award for Development award was presented by HE Dr Carlos Alberto Patricio Játiva Naranjo, Ecuador’s head of delegation and OFID Governor, Ambassador and Representative to the Vienna-based International Organizations.

Accepting the award was Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury, the Vice Chairperson of BRAC International. “We at BRAC are delighted to accept the OFID Annual Award for 2018,” said Dr Chowdhury. “This will inspire us and many others to move forward with added zeal and commitment. The monetary award will be used to further support Rohingya women and children.”

OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish remarked: “This year’s award aims to help shed light on the Rohingya crisis and recognize one particular organization for standing strong in the face of injustice.” He added that BRAC “empowers the vulnerable and helps them bring about positive change in their lives by creating opportunities.”

“Presenting this award to BRAC is consistent with OFID’s approach – through its Grants Program – of responding to the needs of the world’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, and addressing the underlying root causes of poverty in developing countries,” he added.

It is estimated that over 700,000 refugees have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017. BRAC has provided lifesaving services at scale in the sectors where it is currently a leading provider, such as water and sanitation, health and child protection, and has contributed substantially to others, including education, shelter and nutrition.

The OFID Annual Award for Development was introduced in 2006 to highlight the achievements of organizations and individuals in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Past winners include: the Foundation for Integral Development in Guatemala; Syrian refugee Doaa Al Zamel; the Children’s Cancer Hospital in Egypt; Kenya’s Kakenya Center for Excellence; Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan; Dr Mazen Al-Hajri, renowned ENT surgeon and philanthropist; Professor Muhammad Yunus; and Bartolina Sisa National Confederation of Peasant Indigenous Native Women of Bolivia.