An international non-governmental organisation known as BRAC has promised to give more support for needy Tanzanians by financing pro-poor development projects in health, education, microfinance, farming and livestock sector.
Head of the organisation in the country Gunendu Roy made the commitment during celebrations to mark 40 years since BRAC started its operations in different parts of the world.
The NGO is based in Bangladesh, but it operates in 13 countries across the global, including Tanzania.
“We have done a lot to support the needy people around the world…and we are determined to do more in Tanzania, that’s supporting the vulnerable and most disadvantaged social groups,” said Roy at the ceremony which was attended by BRAC-Tanzania staff and partners.
He informed that BRAC was established in Bangladesh back in 1972, as an organisation for extending relief and rehabilitation services to war victims of that country.
“We started operating in the country five years ago, and many Tanzanians have benefited from our support extended through BRAC’s projects in the microfinance sector, health, education and other social development programmes,” Roy said.
He explained that his organisation linked all the programmes strategically to counter poverty through livelihood generation and protection.
Roy described micro-credit as an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty amongst Tanzanians, noting that in order to benefit from credits, “our microfinance clients must be informed and aware enough to put their loans to the best use; must be cognisant of their rights; maintain good health and hygiene and have the confidence to establish income generation activities.”
Over the past 35 years, BRAC has made significant improvements in Bangladesh in health, education, and income generation, making it a unique success story in the field of development, said Roy.
“As an organisation committed to fighting poverty, we are now taking the knowledge and experience we have acquired over three decades through our work in poverty alleviation in Bangladesh to the aid of other similarly developing countries ravaged by war, natural disaster and poverty…in this context, we have good plans to expand our operations in Tanzania,” said BRAC country’s representative.
In Tanzania, he said, BRAC is currently operating through 112 branch offices in 18 of the 26 regions in the mainland and Zanzibar. The scale of BRAC Tanzania’s outreach means that more than 4.6 million men, women, and children from poor communities, benefit from the organisation’s integrated services, he said.
BRAC, according to the official, employs more than 1,227 Tanzanians and it invests in their career development through training and capacity building.
“A major development strategy by BRAC in Tanzania is addressing the financial needs and capacity building of the poor, especially women through credit support, transfer of technology, skills and input supply so that they can find their way out of the poverty cycle,” said.
In a televised-recorded speech at the 40th anniversary celebration, founder and chairman of BRAC International Fazle Hasan Abed reaffirmed organisation’s commitment and determination to bring significant changes and thereby contributing to socio-economic development in developing economies. “But real changes must come from within respective countries,” he stressed.