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The World Food Prize is awarded to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed for his commitment to ending extreme poverty

  |   SUN Lead Group and Secretariat

Sir Abed World Food PrizeOn 1st July 2015, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was announced as the 2015 World Food Prize Laureate at a ceremony in Washington D.C. for his commitment to ending extreme poverty. Sir Fazle Hasan Abed is the internationally renowned founder and chairperson of BRAC (formally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) who is also a member of the SUN Movement Lead Group.

The Prize honours Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s achievements in building BRAC into a unique, integrated development organisation that has been hailed as the most effective anti-poverty organisation in the world. BRAC is now the world’s largest nongovernmental organisation which has helped raise more than 150million people out of poverty.

The World Food Prize is awarded by the World Food Prize Foundation, it has been referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture” and is the most prominent global award recognizing an individual who has enhanced human development and confronted hunger by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

 “at the heart of [Abed’s] endeavor has been the central principle that our laureate identified as the key to uplifting the ultra-poor: that women need to be the agents of change and that education is a key to their taking charge of their lives.” – Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s innovative approach to development has effectively and sustainably addressed the disconnect between hunger and poverty. He has combined scalable development models, scientific innovation, and local participation to confront the complex causes of poverty, hunger, and powerlessness among the poor.

During the ceremony, Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture, gave the keynote address and Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize, spoke to attendees about Abed’s achievements and highlighted BRAC’s focus on empowering young women through education. Charles Rivkin, United States, Assistant Secretary of State for Business and Economic Affairs, thanked the World Food Prize for their 41 years of work, and highlighted the global impact of the organization in global food security, based in southwest Iowa.

“[Abed and] the World Food Prize indicates the power of a single individual to make a difference. We are here to continue that tradition. If each of us realized the power that we have to make a difference, what a more healthy and safe and empowered world it would be.”-  Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Visit the World Food Prize to learn more

Articles also available at The Guardian and The Hunger & Underutrition Blog

Background to the World Food Prize

Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, founded the World Food Prize in 1986. Borlaug saw the Prize as a means of establishing role models who would inspire others, and since then has been awarded to outstanding individuals who have made breakthrough achievements contributing to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.

About the Des Moines Symposium

Each year, the Laureate is honoured at a three-day symposium in October held in Des Moines, Iowa: home of the World Food Prize Foundation. At the 2015 symposium, in addition to celebrating the achievements of Sir Abed and BRAC, the event will also shine a spotlight on female farmers. Borlaug 101: Fundamentals of Global Food Security, will foster dialogue that emphasizes women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

Speakers for the event include:

  • Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda
  • Chelsea Clinton, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair
  • Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Banker
  • Florence Chenoweth, Liberian Minister of Agriculture
  • Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary

Registration for the Borlaug Dialogues are now open at

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