August 5, 2011
On July 27th, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), the world's largest international NGO (see the reference), to facilitate collaboration between the two organizations. The signing by Mr. Kenzo Oshima, Senior Vice President of JICA, and Dr. Mahabubu Hossain, Executive Director, BRAC Group, took place at the BRAC headquarters in Bangladesh (Dhaka City).
Collaboration with BRAC is a proof that JICA is committed to cultivating further partnerships with private sector organizations including international NGOs so as to maximize the impact of its assistance by utilizing their financial resources as well as technical expertise, especially in reaching the population at the grass root level. Other examples of JICA's collaboration with private sector organizations include collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation in promoting rural development in the border region between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. JICA has also recently signed an innovative financial agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the Pakistani Government in its fight against polio eradication. (link to the press release)
The main purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to facilitate collaboration in matters of common interest of JICA and BRAC, for the economic and social development of Africa, Bangladesh and other countries and regions. It places special focuses on (1) the promotion of agriculture and rural development in Africa, in particular through the promotion of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD), and (2) the social development of developing countries.
The grass root development activities taken by BRAC directly benefits the self sustaining development of the communities and the poor, an objective shared by JICA. BRAC's activities are expected to provide for those communities or people that JICA's activities alone cannot reach. It is hoped that a greater impact will be achieved by aligning the activities conducted by the two organizations.