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Graduating from Ultra-Poverty: An Interview with Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, KCMG – Soul of Finance

 November 13, 2018 • 1 minute read

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, KCMG | Founder and Chairperson, BRAC

Sir Fazle Abed was the founder and chairperson of BRAC. Last year at the RESULTS International Conference Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS and I interviewed him about how and why BRAC developed the Graduation approach. The text below provides a lightly edited compilation of those interviews. This article appeared in Soul of Finance on November 13, 2018. 

What does the face of ultra-poverty look like in Bangladesh?

Ultra-poverty is a woman-led household, with children. The woman does not have many skills, so she would get domestic work or very low paying agricultural work. She doesn’t get paid properly. She probably gets food for her work. She shares her food with her children, so she’s half fed and her children are half fed. She’s in a trap and doesn’t know what to do. She can never build up a surplus and she will not be able to send her children to school. At age 7 or 8 the children get farmed out to other homes to become domestics, and she will somehow or other survive. So that is what the life of a woman trapped in ultra-poverty is.

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