Abed receives World Food Prize 2015
Brac Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed has been honoured as the 2015 World Food Prize Laureate for his outstanding contributions to enhancing the world's production and distribution of food to those most in need.
The prestigious prize, known as Nobel Prize for food and agriculture, was conferred on him on Thursday night at an event of a three-day international symposium at the Iowa State Capitol Building in Iowa, USA.
John Ruan III, chairman of the World Food Prize, handed over the award to Abed. The award includes a cash prize of $ 250,000, said a Brac statement.
“I must acknowledge that the award does not belong to me alone, it is the recognition of Brac's work over the last 43 years in providing pathways out of poverty for millions of people in Bangladesh and other countries in Africa and Asia,” said Abed, receiving the award.
The real heroes are the poor themselves and in particular, the poverty-hit women who overcome enormous challenges each day of their lives, he added.
“Throughout our work across the world, we have learnt that countries and culture vary; but realities, struggles, aspirations and dreams of poor and marginalised people are remarkably similar.”
“In the coming decades we must refine methods of delivery at scale, placing solutions at the hands of poor people themselves and track progress. Only by putting the poor specially women in charge of their own lives and destinies poverty and deprivation can be removed from the face of the earth,” observed the Brac chief.
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, President of World Food Prize Foundation Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of Iowa senate Pam Jochum, Speaker of Iowa house Linda Upmeyer and former president of the republic of Malawi and founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation Joyce Banda was present at the programme, chaired by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.
Brac is widely credited as a major contributor to Bangladesh's achievement in halving poverty and hunger levels since 1990, in line with the UN's Millennium Development Goals, through its sustained efforts in the fields of poverty and hunger eradication and food security, according to the statement.
The organisation, said the release, has helped nearly 150 million people worldwide with the opportunity for enhanced food security.
Earlier this year, Ambassador Kenneth M Quinn in Washington, DC announced Abed as the winner of this year's prize.