Community Resilience

In the twenty-first century, building resilience is one of our most urgent social and economic issues because we live in a world that is defined by disruption. Not a month goes by that we don’t see some kind of disturbance to the normal flow of life.

-Judith Rodin, Rockefeller Foundation, The Resilience Dividend-

Community members map out the poorest households to identify program participants for BRAC’s ultra-poor program © BRAC

BRAC takes a long-term approach to disaster recovery. Whether it’s man-made, natural, or disease-related, BRAC can mend broken supply chains, foster economic growth through microfinance, and provide psychosocial support to those traumatized by disaster-related events.


In the last three years, BRAC USA has supported recovery efforts after the earthquake in Nepal, response to Ebola survivors in West Africa, monetary support to survivors of the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh as well as long-term support to survivors of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse.

Our Approach

Nepal Earthquake


The aftershocks from the Nepal earthquake were felt at BRAC’s head office in Bangladesh. BRAC immediately mobilized and sent an emergency response team and medical supplies to victims in Nepal. Now BRAC is working closely with the Nepalese government and partners on the ground to explore development opportunities to foster economic growth.

Ebola Response


With a network of more than 800 community health workers in Sierra Leone and Liberia, BRAC was able to provide local support to families influenced by Ebola. Through this network of frontline workers, BRAC distributed chlorine, medicine, food supplies, and materials to educate communities on how Ebola is spread. In the post-Ebola period, BRAC is working to rebuild value chain linkages specifically in the agriculture sector, support adolescent girls who have become particularly vulnerable since the outbreak, and provide psychosocial support to families and communities devastated by the disease.

Rana Plaza


This year, BRAC USA provided more than one million dollars to support 96 victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse with long-term medical services and psycho-social support. The project will provide prosthesis and orthopedic support to amputees and assist victims to support their psychological well-being. BRAC USA and funding partners also contributed to the International Labor Organization’s Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.

Program Highlights

Helping Earthquake Victims in Nepal

Helping Earthquake Victims in Nepal

In April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, killing more than 9,000 people and injuring over 23,000. In the immediate aftermath, BRAC sent a team to provide medical treatment and supplies. To support Nepal’s long-term recovery, BRAC has launched a 2-year program that will provide livelihood support, physical rehabilitation and psychosocial rehabilitation for more than 30,000 victims. Read more
From Aid to Enterprise

From Aid to Enterprise

Can post-Ebola West Africa go the way of of South Asia, from aid to enterprise? As West Africa looks to rebuild after Ebola, it is worth remembering that countries have recovered from such disasters, both natural and man-made. They have even found within them opportunities for rebirth and prosperity, using strategies like microfinance to make the journey from grant-based aid to commercially sustainable enterprises. Read more
Aiding those from Rana Plaza Garment Factory Collapse

Aiding those from Rana Plaza Garment Factory Collapse

When the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed on April 24, 2013, more than 1,100 garment workers died and more than 2,500 were injured, many severely. In 2014, on the one-year anniversary of the event, BRAC USA, created the Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund to provide aid to survivors and support for workers in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry. Read more

Our Impact

Six months on: Rana Plaza survivor Minu Aktar looks to New Future

When the Bangladesh garment factory building Rana Plaza collapsed in April, Minu Aktar was trapped under the rubble for three days before being rescued. She still suffers from physical injuries as well as ongoing trauma. Six months on, however, Minu is starting to overcome her grief with the support of her family and through the ILO’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform project in partnership with BRAC, an NGO. She is training to become a tailor.

Key Supporters of Community Resilience