Brac founder and Chair Emeritus Sir Fazle Hasan Abed has been honoured with the Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his successful work in alleviating poverty, especially of women and children.
Sir Fazle Abed yesterday accepted the insignia of the Royal Knighthood bestowed upon him by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry Verweij handed over the insignia on behalf of his king.
“On behalf of His Majesty the King, it is my great honour and privilege to present to you the insignia of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau,” Verweij said at a brief ceremony at Sir Fazle Abed’s residence.
Sir Fazle Abed’s family members and representatives from the Netherlands embassy were at the event, said a Brac statement.
Sir Fazle Abed expressed his delight, saying, “Being named an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau is an immense honour.
“The Netherlands has been a great friend and supporter of Brac over the decades and our connection with the country has deepened since establishing the base of our international operations there 10 years ago. This recognition is a testament to that friendship. As Brac expands globally, we look forward to working together to advance the causes of the people living in situations of poverty and deprivation.”
The ambassador, in his speech, said, “Sir Fazle has always strived to uphold human dignity, resilience, integrity and inclusion. These values have been at the heart of the successful development of Brac.
“The fact that, for Brac, the empowerment of women is not a secondary aim but a guiding principle of all of its programmes and enterprises, is greatly appreciated. Brac’s anti-poverty work is recognised across the world, including in the Netherlands.”
The Order of Orange-Nassau is awarded for longstanding meritorious service to society, the State or the Royal House of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Sir Fazle Abed is the lone Bangladeshi to be honoured with a knighthood by the British Crown. He was knighted in 2010.
He has been honoured with numerous national and international awards, including the Outstanding Member of the South Asian Diaspora Award this month.
Some other awards include World Food Prize (2015), Spanish Order of Civil Merit (2014), Leo Tolstoy International Gold Medal (2014), WISE Prize for Education (2011).
In August 2019, he retired as the chairperson of Brac Bangladesh and Brac International, and became the chair emeritus.