In a major development for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 1 and eradicating extreme poverty, BRAC has just been named as one of eight organisations selected as a 2020 grantee of The Audacious Project and will receive more than $60 million to help 21 million people lift themselves from extreme poverty by 2026.
With this investment, we will scale BRAC’s Graduation approach through governments and their existing social protection programmes in countries where we see the greatest potential impact. This new grant will leverage approximately $5.8 billion in existing government and donor funding and channel those funds toward well-executed, government-led Graduation programmes.
BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) will build on the success of BRAC’s Graduation programme in Bangladesh to lift millions more people from extreme poverty. Graduation is a multifaceted, proven, researched set of interventions based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by those living at this severe level of extreme poverty.
BRAC is the largest-scale implementer of the Graduation approach, with more than 2 million households (approximately 9 million people) having taken part in the programme in Bangladesh. BRAC has also developed and implemented adaptations of the approach in 14 countries, covering a range of contexts and vulnerabilities. In addition to this, 1.1 million households around the world (approximately 5 million people) have lifted themselves from extreme poverty through other organisations’ adaptations of BRAC’s Graduation approach.
This Audacious grant underscores BRAC’s transformative role in developing innovative initiatives in the Global South, proving their effectiveness, and scaling them for greatest impact.
But the level of effort, programming, resources, and tenacity required to eradicate extreme poverty vastly exceeds the capabilities of a single organization or the Audacious funding. BRAC UPGI’s goal to lift 21 million more people out of extreme poverty by 2026, is only the beginning.
To truly move the needle on SDG1, ending poverty in all its forms, we must work together more effectively and commit significantly more resources to combating this issue. With support from this new investment, BRAC will vastly scale its efforts to partner with governments, multilateral institutions, NGOs, and civil society, in countries where we can have maximum impact and drive greater uptake for Graduation.
If we can expand how governments in low-income countries think about safety nets and social protection programs for extremely poor populations, integrating Graduation, millions more people will develop sustainable livelihoods and build resilience.