Brac International is relocating its Bangladeshi staff from Afghanistan to ensure their safety and security amid fears that the Taliban will roll back two decades of gains by women and ethnic minorities while restricting the work of journalists and NGO workers. Around 3,000 Brac staff work across ten provinces of the landlocked South Asian country. Of them, 14 expatriates including 12 Bangladeshis are being returned to their countries as panic takes hold in Afghanistan, according to the INGO. Read: Canada joins hands with Brac to support vulnerable people Five of them, including three Bangladeshis, were already on leave outside Afghanistan and have been asked not to return. Three of the remaining nine Bangladeshis left Afghanistan Friday and others are scheduled to leave by August 22. Brac has taken steps to ensure the highest security of its staff in the face of growing violence in Afghanistan since the start of the formal withdrawal of international troops, according to Brac International Executive Director Shameran Abed. Read: BRAC partners with govt’s Covid-19 vaccination drive The organisation has been working in Afghanistan for more than 19 years, providing services including education, healthcare, community development, Covid-19 related support, humanitarian and food security assistance. In the past, several Brac staff were abducted in Afghanistan and were released after negotiations. Afghans watch with growing fear as the Taliban overrun most of the country while international forces withdraw. Read:One-third of female employed youths jobless as impact of Covid-19: BRAC Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani flew out of the country Sunday, joining thousands of his fellow citizens and foreigners in a stampede fleeing the advancing Taliban and "signalling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking the country." Meanwhile, officials said Bangladesh is keeping close tabs on the fast-changing situation in Afghanistan.
Shameran Abed has been appointed the new Executive Director of BRAC International (BI), one of the leading development organisations in the world, with effect from August 1, 2021. Shameran succeeds BI’s current Executive Director, Dr Muhammad Musa, who will step down on July 31. As Executive Director, Shameran will oversee and guide BI’s strategies, programmes and organisational development for scaled impact and sustainable growth, contributing to BRAC’s Global Strategy to reach 250 million disadvantaged women (and their dependents), youths, and people living in poverty by 2030. He will also continue to lead BI’s microfinance operations and oversee the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI). Read Islami Bank holds 38th AGM; approves 10% cash dividend “The Board of BRAC International is confident that Shameran is the right person to steer BI at this time, driving innovation and positive transformation while ensuring continuity. We believe Shameran’s extensive experience at BRAC and his strong strategic and collaborative skills will help us to further align our goals and objectives to achieve the vision of our late founder, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, to make BRAC a global force for poverty eradication and empowerment of the poor,” said Irene Khan, Chair of the Supervisory Board of Stichting BRAC International. Shameran joined BRAC Bangladesh in 2009 and BRAC International in 2012, and has been instrumental in bringing BRAC’s flagship programmes of microfinance and ultra-poor graduation to global scale. Also read: BRAC to strengthen advocacy on protecting employees from sexual exploitation Under his leadership, BI’s microfinance portfolio has seen impressive growth and a renewed focus on client impact. Since 2016, Shameran has also led BRAC’s ultra-poor graduation work and played an instrumental role in setting up the UPGI to spearhead global advocacy and provide technical assistance to governments and other organisations. Shameran also comes with significant board experience on several non-profit and corporate entities, including the boards of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), BRAC Bank and bKash. Also read: Brac to work on protecting employees from exploitation, abuse “As we confront unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, we’re reminded once again of the urgent need to build resilience and create sustainable pathways out of poverty for the world’s most marginalised,” commented Shameran. “BRAC holds a truly unique position, as an organisation from and for the Global South, to continue to demonstrate the same commitment and tenacity in designing and delivering practical, scalable, community-led solutions as we have done for almost 50 years. I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead BRAC International at this critical juncture, working alongside thousands of fearless co-workers and with millions of programme participants, whose courage and enterprise inspire us every day to accelerate and further amplify our impact.” Read After 11 years of losses, Maddhapara mining company turns profitable Shameran holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Hamilton College in the United States and is a qualified Barrister in the UK.