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BRAC declares Campaign Commitment to graduate 250,000 households from ultra-poverty

Summary: The Microcredit Summit Campaign welcomes BRAC as the newest Campaign Commitment member, joining a global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Washington, DC – The Microcredit Summit Campaign welcomes BRAC as the newest Campaign Commitment member, joining a global coalition of organizations committed to specific, measurable, and time-bound actions to advance the Campaign’s goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty.

BRAC is a development organization founded in Bangladesh in 1972 and has since become one of the largest NGOs in the world in terms of employees and number of clients served spreading successful poverty alleviating solutions born in the developing world to other countries. In 2002, BRAC launched the Ultra-Poor Graduation Program, which aimed at lifting the ultra poor out of their situation of poverty so that they can access mainstream development services such as microfinance. The program targets extremely deprived women and their households, and maintains BRAC’s holistic approach to development by providing targeted asset grants, skill training and healthcare support. Since 2002, 1.4 million households have already graduated from BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Program. With this tremendous success, BRAC plans to continue the spread of this model and reach even more households around the globe.

When asked about the origins of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Program, Program Manager Sadna Samaranayake responded, “The extreme poor, living on less than $1.25 a day, are far from homogenous. Among them are households trapped in the direst forms of destitution, who are chronically hungry, lack assets, income, or support from their communities. It was to address the needs of these populations, the ultra-poor at the margins and beyond the reach of microfinance and other development programs, that BRAC pioneered what is now known as the Graduation approach. Even the poorest can “graduate” from ultra-poverty with a set of carefully tailored interventions designed to help achieve increased incomes, food security and better resilience overall. A complement to MFI, NGO and government strategies to reach the ultra-poor, BRAC is committed to advancing knowledge and implementation of the Graduation approach.”

In support of the mission BRAC announces the following Commitments related to its efforts to graduate families out of ultra-poverty:

  • In Bangladesh alone, BRAC commits to graduating 250,000 households out of ultra-poverty by the end of 2016.
  • BRAC commits to publishing an in-depth implementation guide in September 2014 to help governments, microfinance institutions and NGOs execute their own ultra-poor graduation programs. Additionally, BRAC commits to providing technical assistance and consultation where requested to governments, NGOs and MFIs looking to implement the graduation approach.
  • BRAC commits to hosting a national conference on the graduation approach in a country where BRAC operates in 2014. This conference aims to tackle the question of where graduation approaches and policy environments intersect and can reinforce sustainable graduation outcomes for ultra-poor families.
  • BRAC commits to hosting annual Immersion and Training Visits in Bangladesh for interested parties including policy makers, microfinance institutions, multilateral funders, and donors to witness the graduation program in action. During these visits, participants will get an in-depth look at the program, from field staff training ultra-poor women on how to realize a return on their new assets, to the healthcare, savings, and social integration elements of the approach.

The next round of these Immersion and Training Visits are on the weeks of 18 August and 25 August, 2014. Please contact Sadna Samaranayake at sadna@bracusa.org to register.

The Campaign looks forward to welcoming this new partner in the global coalition and sharing their progress towards the Commitment achievement at the 17th Microcredit Summit.

Read the BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Program Commitment letter

For more information on Commitments and the 100 Million Project, visit www.microcreditsummit.org or write to mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

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The Microcredit Summit Campaign (the “Campaign”), a project of RESULTS Educational Fund, is the largest global network of institutions and individuals involved in microfinance and is committed to two important goals: 1) reaching 175 million of the world’s poorest families with microfinance and 2) helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The 100 Million Project (focused on Goal 2) was launched in response to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s call to end extreme poverty by 2030 and in recognition that full financial inclusion can only be achieved by targeting the extreme poor.  The coalition of Campaign members announcing Commitments is aimed at motivating microfinance stakeholders to provide products and services that reach the extreme poor and facilitate their movement out of poverty. www.microcreditsummit.org

 


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