March 29 Ceremonies Honor Kravis Prize Recipient Fazle Abed

Fazle Abed, recipient of the 2007 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership in recognition for his groundbreaking work in helping the world’s poor, will visit the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum for a lunch discussion on Thursday, March 29. He will discuss “Empowering the Poor in the Developing World.” The public portion of the program begins at 12:15 p.m., with seating on a first-come basis.

The Kravis Prize will be presented to Abed in ceremonies Thursday evening in Los Angeles.

Abed founded BRAC (formerly known as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) in 1972 to provide relief and assistance to refugees returning from India after Bangladesh’s Liberation War. Over the next 30 years, he would transform BRAC into one of the largest development organizations in the world, serving more than 100 million people throughout East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Today, BRAC operates major programs in microfinance and income generation, public health, education, and social development. BRAC’s microfinance program currently assists over 5 million borrowers and has disbursed US$3.8 billion to date in loans, with a 98 percent repayment rate. Through enterprise development, this program has created approximately three million new jobs. BRAC’s health program, serving more than 80 million people, provides a wide range of preventive, curative, and rehabilitative health services. These range from basic health and nutrition assistance, to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, malaria mitigation, early childhood development, and neonatal health. More than one million children, 65 percent of whom are girls, are currently enrolled in over 20,000 pre-primary and 30,000 non-formal primary schools operated by BRAC’s education program. BRAC’s social development program promotes greater awareness of social, political, and economic issues, providing human rights and legal services, legal aid clinics, and platforms to discuss social and political issues affecting poor women in rural areas.

The Kravis Prize, which carries a $250,000 award designated to the recipient’s organization, honors extraordinary leadership in the non-profit sector. Abed was selected for his innovative work in microenterprise, health, and education.

The Prize is administered by Claremont McKenna College, the Kravis Leadership Institute, and Marie-Jos?e and Henry R. Kravis. Mrs. Kravis, an economist, is a Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute; Mr. Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is an alumnus and a trustee of Claremont McKenna College.